Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Brownie

The Brownie
Originally published in FrostFire Worlds, Issue 1, August 2013.
Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay

Sweep, sweep, sweep,
Clean the farmhouse floor in secret
While tired mortal family sleeps.
Wipe the table, dust the cupboard,
Keep this farmer’s home looking neat.


Churn, churn, churn,
Perform certain household magic
By making butter out of cream.
Then reap the stalks and thresh the wheat,
Finish farmhand’s chores left undone.

Wash, wash, wash,
Dirty dishes left in the sink.
Splash in frothy suds as moon shines,
Then dry the dripping forks and plates.
Stack them up before dawn arrives.

Sip, sip, sip,
From a small bowl of warm milk placed
Near the hearth, within easy reach.
As humble reward for my work,
‘Tis all I ever really need.

Listen, listen, listen,
Hear the farmer’s wife sneak a peek
At this brownie’s nightly labours.
She spies hairy sprite dressed in rags
And decides to give a grand gift.

Dance, dance, dance,
Reel ‘round the house in giddy glee.
Garbed in bright green breeches and coat
Given in unknowing kindness,
I gladly sing of my toil’s end.

Away, away, away,
Be slaving brownie no longer.
This fine fay lad clad in new clothes
Will now become a fairy free
And work away his nights no more.

(Originally published in FrostFire Worlds, Issue 1, August 2013.)

Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Reprint Poem for October APHELION

It looks like my fantasy poem "Magical Meetings", which was previously published in the May 2011 issue of SORCEROUS SIGNALS, will be republished in the October 2014 issue of APHELION.

I'll post another entry with a link when the poem is on-line.

This may be my last piece for APHELION for a while. I don't have many more reprints to send, and I'm not writing any new poetry lately. Currently, my creative energies are directed solely toward art.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Dead May Know

Scratch runes
in graveyard loam
to commune with dark shades.
Hope their dusty whispers reveal
life's truths.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Cute Vampire

Here is another addition to my Cute Characters and Creatures series: Cute Vampire.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Few Thoughts About DARK SHADOWS and DRACULA

A sleepwalking young woman suffers a large loss of blood and sports two puncture wounds in her neck, and yet nobody thinks "vampire"? Really?

Have the people in Collinsport never read DRACULA? Have they never seen any of the various Dracula films? Have they never read any vampire lore at all?

My first thought would be "vampire"!

Perhaps the people of Collinsport were meant to be "modern-era" skeptics, the type of people who just don't believe in such things. However, skeptics shouldn't deny evidence simply because it doesn't fit their skeptical views.

One of the things I love about the character of Professor Van Helsing in the novel DRACULA is that, even though he is a man of science, he does not deny the evidence of a vampire lurking in Victorian England. He accepts the evidence and understands what it means.

Ignoring evidence because it does not fit your preconceived notions of the universe is bad science. Van Helsing was a true scientist; he followed where the evidence led.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sale on Hoodies & Sweatshirts Over at Redbubble

Redbubble is running a sale on hoodies & sweatshirts.
15% off hoodies & sweatshirts from midnight tonight PDT until midnight Monday PDT.
Use the discount code: HOODIE15

Here is a link to the All Time Popular Gifts over in my Richard Fay Redbubble Shop.

Yet More About Lovecraft and My Opinions of the Genre Writing World

Back to the brouhaha over Lovecraft! I've now been told that it's "not cool" to dismiss people who have won or might win the WFA award as "drama queens" for voicing genuine upset.

My reply:

Yeah, I get the message, a message sent loud and clear over, and over, and over again: a number of people in the genre writing world don't really care much for me or my opinions.

To be perfectly honest, I've given up giving a damn! I'm sure most of the rest of the world couldn't care less about these genre world brouhahas!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: actions speak louder than words. Of course, such a concept is probably lost on writers, especially those of a particularly self-righteous and egotistical type (as in having such inflated egos that they think the whole world should give a damn about their self-righteous indignation over the racist views of a writer who has been dead for 77 years).

And if you think I am now flipping a finger at those writers and the playground they play in, that's because I am! These constant genre writing world tempests in teapots have finally made me turn my back on that world.

So, you don't have to worry your pretty little head about me saying such uncool things in these discussions/debates/arguments any longer, because I'm finished! I'm washing my hands of these things.

Cue the attempt by some in the genre writing world to ruin my reputation and/or career because of things I have said in 3, 2, 1...

Burned Bridges, Leaving the Flames Behind

Though I've burned a lot of bridges, I'm happier today than I was yesterday. I'm leaving the flames behind.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cute Monster

Okay, everyone, what do you think of my "Cute Monster"? It's my latest addition to my Cute Characters and Creatures Series.

I think I want to draw a Cute Vampire next. My Cute Monster was originally supposed to be something appropriate for Halloween, but it ended up being more of a general-purpose cute creature.

"Under the ice on Enceladus" in Science Fiction Showcase

I can't recall if I mentioned this before, so I'll mention it now: my work "Under the Ice on Enceladus" has been selected for display in the Science Fiction Showcase in the Sci Fi Group over at Redbubble.

Category: Funny Sci Fi/ Laugh Awards!
http://www.redbubble.com/people/rhfay/works/12632902-under-the-ice-on-enceladus

Finished With the Realm of Genre Publications (At Least, For Now)

Okay, I've come to a conclusion. Outside of things that have already been accepted for forthcoming publication, I'm finished with the realm of genre publications. I'm too sick of the shitstorms constantly brewing in that world. Also, I'm sure I've made plenty of enemies in that world by speaking my mind too many times. I can't keep being a part of something I find so unpleasant. I'm done!

Will this be a permanent withdrawal from the world of genre publications, or will this be a mere hiatus? I haven't decided yet. I did start rewriting my fantasy novel, and I may seek a publisher once the rewrite is finished. However, I could also go the route of self-publishing. When it comes to art, I have my stores. For the sake of what little sanity I have left, right now, I think I need to stick to art for my stores.

For a while now, when it came to trying to further my career as a genre publications illustrator and artist, I have felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall. I got the impression that I was spinning my wheels, if not taking one step forward, two steps back. While sales in my stores have steadily increased since I first opened my Zazzle store in 2010, my sales to publications have remained at basically the same level for six or seven years now. It has gotten to the point that work for publications takes time away from work for my stores.

I do appreciate the fact that some editors and publishers accepted my works, published my works, and paid me for my works. I am still very proud of the work I did for various small press publications. My current disgust with the genre community in general has not diminished my pride in what I accomplished in that realm, even if I was just a little fish after all.

Now, excuse me while I go work on the latest piece for my stores!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Cute Witch


This "Cute Witch" is supposed to be a Halloween-themed addition to my Cute Characters and Creatures Series:



Cute Witch

Thursday, September 18, 2014

One Heck of a Headache

Throbbing pain
Troubles me night and day.
Pulsing sounds
Inflict a grievous harm.
Dancing imps
Bedevil my poor brain.
Pounding hooves
Stomp to a savage beat.
Droning fiends
Chant a demonic tune.
Leering beasts
Drive me slowly insane.
Sinning thoughts
Corrupt my weary soul.
Laughing shades
Make me commit foul crimes.
Choking hands
Have a will of their own.
Dying cries
Haunt my guilt-ridden mind.
Speeding lead
Ends my damned agony.


(Originally published as "A Horror Editor’s Lament, or One Heck of a Headache", in Bewildering Stories, Issue 278, February 18, 2008.)

Copyright © 2008 Richard H. Fay

A Haunted House

cobweb draperies
mouldering plaster walls
a phantom's home


dusty zephyrs
strange shuffling movements
spectral stirrings


creaking wooden stairs
groaning oaken timbers
unnatural sounds


drifting shadow
soft footsteps in the hall
ghostly presence


an eldritch chill
diabolical whispers
a fell haunting


dark apparitions
dreadful macabre visions
a mortal's fright


wailing spectres
clattering skeletons
midnight revelries


(Originally published in the October 2007 Issue of Tales from the Moonlit Path)

Copyright © 2007 Richard H. Fay

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pumpkin Headed Ghost Added to Redbubble/CafePress/Zazzle

I added my retro-looking Halloween artwork "Pumpkin Headed Ghost" to my on-line shops.

Here is the description blurb for the image:
A ghost wearing a witch’s hat atop its Jack-o’-Lantern head rises up to scare all in this original spooky art by Richard H. Fay.


It's in my Richard Fay Redbubble Portfolio, where it is available on T shirts, hoodies, kid's clothing, cards, prints, posters, stickers, iPhone cases, iPad cases, Samsung Galaxy cases, throw pillows, and tote bags:
Richard Fay > Portfolio > Pumpkin Headed Ghost

It's on a plethora of items in my Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop:
Azure Lion Productions > Pumpkin Headed Ghost

And I've begun to add it to items in my Richard Fay/Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store. It's already up on things like T shirts, magnets, keychains, mugs, stickers, a "Happy Halloween" card, and a "Trick or treat" tote bag:
Pumpkin Headed Ghost Gifts

More About Lovecraft

I see that S.T Joshi has written this blog entry:
September 16, 2014 —A Few More Delicate Words on Laura Miller
Here are my thoughts:

After being involved in a rather pointless (as in having no real point) Facebook argument over these issues, I have reached a conclusion. Different readers of Lovecraft concentrate on different aspects of Lovecraft. Readers of Lovecraft's writings concentrate on those aspects of the man and his works that they wish to concentrate on. Some seem to concentrate on Lovecraft's racism, while others seem to concentrate on his imaginative and creative genius. Those who do concentrate on Lovecraft's imaginative and creative genius are often put into the category of "Lovecraft defenders" by those concentrating on his racism.


Furthermore, I have come to believe that there is no real resolution to this problem, if it is indeed a problem at all, because it is a matter of different readers coming away with different reactions to and opinions about Lovecraft and his works. Unfortunately, there are those out there who seem to think that all readers of Lovecraft must share their own reactions to and opinions about the man and his works.

As for the stink over the WFA trophy, I do think S.T. Joshi is being sensible regarding his suggestion that recipients of the WFA trophy who find the form of the trophy genuinely offensive/intolerable/repugnant/whatever should simply give it back. Otherwise, these people sound like nothing but miserable whiners. As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words.


Now, someone over on a Facebook thread about S.T. Joshi's blog post did point out that Joshi has "quite a line in invective". Perhaps he does, but I say he is using the same sort of tone and language many figures in the genre writing community use when involved in this sort of genre world brouhaha. 'Tis nothing new. To be quite honest, I've seen worse.
(As if "Lovecraft defender" is not meant in a reproachful manner! It could be argued that such a label implies not only a defender of Lovecraft, but a defender of his racism as well.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Accused of Being a Poor Wordsmith

I believe I was just accused of being a poor wordsmith in response to comments I made in a Facebook discussion about the Roald Dahl quote "those who don't believe in magic will never find it” and my assertion that there are alternative, non-supernatural definitions of magic. Basically, I was told it's a poor wordsmith who cannot grasp the context of a phrase.

Some people must lead such boring and unmagical lives! As for me being a poor wordsmith or not, I'll let those editors who publish my works and those readers who read my works decide that!

I asked the person accusing me of being a poor wordsmith if he wanted me to provide a list of my poetry and prose publications as proof that I might not be such a poor wordsmith after all. Such a list CAN be provided! (Just look below if you doubt me.)


As for the argument of "consider the source", since the quote came from the page of James van Praagh, someone my accuser called a "charlatan pseudo-necromancer", I think I will do the same regarding Facebook comments about me from total strangers. They truly matter not.

BTW, there is a larger quote from Roald Dahl containing those lines. The larger quote goes like this:

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”
Roald Dahl

Monday, September 15, 2014

Twitter Account Momentarily Locked

Okay, this is weird. I was just on Twitter earlier this evening, but after I left and checked my e-mail, I saw I had received this notice:

For security purposes, your Twitter account has been locked.

We believe your account @RHFay might be compromised by a user or service not associated with Twitter.
To secure your account and continue safely using Twitter, change your password now...

And so on.

This is not the first time my Twitter account has been locked.
Actually, last time, my account was suspended, not just locked:
Twitter Account Suspended, With No Explanation

I changed my password. My Twitter account seems to be unlocked now. Hopefully I'm not just tweeting to myself!


Since I do have a tendency to post things that piss some people off, I gotta wonder: is some Twitter twit reporting my Tweets?

Pumpkin Headed Ghost

Okay, everyone, what do you all think of my "Pumpkin Headed Ghost"?
(I think it has a bit of a retro-look to it.)

A Rant About Lovecraft, Racism, and Opinions

Critical literary analysis beyond the obvious is often matter of opinion. Believing that Lovecraft's racism cannot be separated from the more creative aspects of his work is a matter of opinion. Believing that the Cthulhu Mythos and the Dreamlands are inextricably intertwined with Lovecraft's racism and cannot be appreciated without dwelling on that less savoury aspect of the man and his works is a matter of opinion. It may be an opinion currently in vogue in certain corners of the genre community, but it is still an opinion. Others do not have to share that opinion. It is presumptuous to assume that others must share that opinions. It is presumptuous to assume that others must cross that threshold.

I gather that I am supposed to struggle with Lovecraft's racism, though I'm not exactly sure what form that struggle is supposed to take. I also gather that the fact that I don't struggle overly much with Lovecraft's racism in the way that others want me to puts me in the category of "them", whatever "them" might be. I do notice it, and I do find it rather repugnant, but I can look past it and see Lovecraft's creative genius.

It has been pointed out to me that my opinions regarding Lovecraft and his racism simply repeat things said by S.T. Joshi and other so-called "Lovecraft defenders", as if implying that I am incapable of forming my own opinions on the subject. What rot! I happen to be a very opinionated person, and I am quite capable of forming my own opinions, thank you very much!

If my opinions regarding Lovecraft are indeed shared by S.T. Joshi and other so-called Lovecraft defenders, I could probably provide plenty of links to articles and blog entries echoing those opinions. What would that prove? Nothing, except that others share my opinions.

Lovecraft was racist. His racism is reflected in his works. That doesn't mean his fans are racists, too.

I spent the whole weekend in an argument over whether or not you can separate H. P. Lovecraft's racism from the more creative and imaginative aspects of his works. It was a complete waste of time. It has become obvious to me that some people in the genre community feel that one cannot make such a separation. They also feel everyone must think the way they do. Poppycock!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I truly believe some people in the genre community don’t really want a discussion about issues, they just want to act the part of drama queens and raise big stinks!

I have publicly acknowledged that Lovecraft was a racist and that his works do, at times, reflect his racist beliefs. However, that doesn't seem to be enough for some people, but I don't know what else they want of me. It is as if they want me to come out and say it is impossible to separate Lovecraft's racism from his imaginative creativity, but I will not do that because I do not believe it is true. It is as if they want me to change my opinion to match their own, and I refuse to go that far.

In that waste-of-time discussion I mention above, I almost got the feeling that I was being accused of being an apologist for racism (a so-called "Lovecraft defender") because I happen to be a fan of H. P. Lovecraft's works. Here is what I say to that:
BULLSHIT!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Few Words About Critical Literary Analysis

Critical literary analysis: is that like when an academic or a reader says an author described the curtains as blue to symbolize depression when the author simply liked the colour blue?

I speak from experience. One time, I was told by a fellow poet who read my horror poem "The Dark Host" that the piece seemed to be a symbolism of the spread of a virulent plague. Actually, I meant the poem to be a fairly straightforward depiction of the Sluagh, the roving host of the restless dead from Scottish lore.

I have to admit, it makes me feel like an even more accomplished a poet to think that readers of "The Dark Host" might interpret is as having deeper meanings than I intended. However, I know exactly what my intentions were when writing it, and they weren't to write a symbolist piece about disease. In other words, the curtains were blue simply to be blue.

"Under the Ice on Enceladus" Featured in Science, Fringe Science & The Unexplained!

My fun sci-fi atwork "Under the Ice on Enceladus" has been featured in the Science, Fringe Science & The Unexplained! Redbubble group. This is what the group admin said:

Your OUTSTANDING work is Featured for the Week in Science, Fringe Science & The Unexplained!

It’s in the spotlight on our Group Home Page, but also make a visit here to view it larger, and on permanent display!

Congratulations, Richard!
Great work!

A Few Words About Bram Stoker, DRACULA, and Slovaks

I am half-Slovak on my mother's side, and yet I am a huge fan of Bram Stoker's DRACULA. In the novel, Slovaks are not necessarily portrayed in a good light. Stoker had Jonathan Harker saying they were "more barbarian than the rest" and "rather wanting in natural self-assertion". Slovaks also numbered among Dracula's evil henchmen. It could be said that Stoker's portrayal of Slovaks displayed an ethnic prejudice.

BTW, this portrayal of Slovaks as Dracula's evil henchmen is carried over into BBC's 1977 COUNT DRACULA. Even so, I am a fan of the film.

I could be offended by both Stoker's DRACULA and the 1997 BBC film adaptation of the novel, but I'm not. I could complain about Slovaks being portrayed as barbaric thugs lacking independent identities, but I don't.

Friday, September 12, 2014

H.P. Lovecraft was a Racist

I ran across this article about a subject that crops up every now and again in the genre world, H.P. Lovecraft's racism:
It’s OK to admit that H.P. Lovecraft was racist 

 
Yes, H.P. Lovecraft was a racist. That should be apparent to anyone who has read his works. However, Lovecraft was also an imaginative creative writer who has inspired others. Let's not forget that aspect of the man's legacy. Let's also remember that Lovecraft was born in 1890 and died in 1937. He was not a 21st century man with 21st century values and beliefs. He was a man of the early twentieth century who possessed some pretty awful early twentieth century values and beliefs.

I've said this before elsewhere, and I'll say it again here: if we only read works by authors free of character flaws, distasteful beliefs, or unsavoury opinions, we might never read anything at all! I doubt there are such beasts, writers totally free of offensive views or values. No writer walks on writer, and I doubt many are saints.

Of course, some writers have a tendency to be whiny publicity-seekers who love the attention they get from being at the center of the latest writing world tempest in a teapot. There are far too many of these brouhahas brewing all the time in the writing world . It appears to be a constant. One of the regular uproars seems to be "Lovecraft was a racist/the WFA trophy is offesnive".

I have to admit, I'm with S.T. Joshi regarding certain recipients of the WFA bitching about the form of the trophy. If someone is that offended by the trophy, that person should put their money where their mouth is and give the bloody thing back in protest! Maybe the offended should never have accepted such an offensive trophy in the first place. Such an action might send a louder message than accepting the award and then complaining about it afterward. As it is, those who received the award and then complained about the offensiveness of the trophy sound like people raising a stink just to grab even more attention for themselves.

A final thought, in the form of a question: what do those who keep bringing up H. P. Lovecraft's racism want fans of Lovecraft to do about it? Really, what are we supposed to do about it? Stop reading his works? (Apparently not, according to the author of the article I linked to above: "Of all the people currently expressing their reservations about Lovecraft and the WFA trophy, I’ve yet to find one who’s telling others to stop reading him".)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Under the Ice on Enceladus" on REDBUBBLE

I added my fun sci-fi artwork "Under the Ice on Enceladus" to my Redbubble portfolio, where is is available on T shirts, hoodies, stickers, iPhone cases, Samsung Galaxy cases, posters, tote bags, prints, cards, kids clothes, and iPad cases. This work, featuring two scientists/astronauts/aquanauts encountering an array of weird and colourful alien creatures beneath the ice of Enceladus, originally appeared as cover art on the July 2014 issue of Spaceports & Spidersilk.

I doubt there are really creatures like I drew actually living under the ice on Enceladus, but you never know. I took the idea of life in the oceans beneath the ice and had some fun with it.

Two Reprint Poems and an Illustration Accepted for Publication in NIGHT TO DAWN 28

Since the publisher who decided to go with another artist for a book cover hinted that she would be interested in a poem or two from me for her zine, Night to Dawn, I sent her a couple of reprint poems. About three hours after I sent the poems, I received an acceptance e-mail. Yay!

It looks like my poems "Life is the Life" and "Redcap of Dunnor Peel"will be reprinted in Night to Dawn 28. "Life is the Life" originally appeared in The Monsters Next Door, Contest Issue 4.5, November 15, 2008. It also appeared in the Scattered Verses, Moonlit Curses Horror Poetry Anthology, published May 2009, and in the October 2011 issue of the web-zine Aphelion. "Redcap of Dunnor Peel" originally appeared in The Scareald, Issue No. 2, October 2012.

Along with the two poems, I also sent links to both the colour and the black and white versions of my "Grinning Redcap" illustration and a link to my Redcap story "The Redcap of Glamtallon". In the e-mail accepting the two poems for publication, the editor asked if I could send her the black and white version of my redcap illustration. I sent it off earlier this evening.

So, along with the two reprints poems, it looks like my "Grinning Redcap" illustration will also be appearing in Night to Dawn 28. 

Now, if only I could find a venue willing to reprint "The Redcap of Glamtallon"...

Sent Out Two Reprint Poems, Plus...

Since the publisher who decided to go with another artist for a book cover hinted that she would be interested in a poem or two from me for her zine, I sent her a couple of reprint poems. I also sent a link to an illustration that could go with one of the poems, and a link to my previously published horror story "The Redcap of Glamtallon". I'm still hoping to find a venue to reprint my redcap story.

Fingers crossed!

Grinning Redcap (B&W)

Grinning Redcap (B&W)
Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bummer!

I thought I was going to get an opportunity to do another book cover artwork, but in the end, the publisher decided to go with a different artist. I guess it came down to the fact that the other artist has done a number of cover art designs. I was honest about the fact that I haven't needed to design covers, since the venues I've done cover art for had cover designers do the actual designing. Though I've done some lettering for items in my stores, and in one instance I hand-drew letters that were used on a cover, I haven't really had to deal with doing book cover text and design.

I can't get over the feeling that, when it comes to publications, I'm spinning my wheels. I keep trying to progress beyond where I am right now, but I seem to be getting nowhere.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

My Week on Twitter! (Pretty Pathetic, Actually)

This seems pathetic, but I'm sharing it anyway, just for the heck of it:

My Week on Twitter

These Tweets helped you make connections, got people excited, and started your friends talking.

344 Total views

10 New followers

4 Retweets

Your most popular Tweets for the week of 01 Sep:
You got some attention with this Tweet.

Okay, who broke Facebook?
"Sorry, something went wrong.
We're working on getting this fixed as soon as we can."
03:48 PM - 03 Sep 14
26 views 1 reply

Well done! This Tweet got people excited.

Small Asteroid to Safely Pass Close to Earth Sunday - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?…
05:38 PM - 04 Sep 14
23 views 1 Retweet

Nice! People were interested in this link.

It will soon be time to start listening again.
Halloweenmusic ... all day long ~ every Halloween we make you scream! halloweenradio.net
01:08 AM - 31 Aug 14
22 views 1 Retweet

Great job this week!
Why not tweet about it?
In case anyone is interested, me on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/RHFay

Should Writers of Disturbing Works be Worried About this Story?

Should writers of disturbing works of fiction be concerned about this story regarding a Maryland teacher and writer who was admitted to a mental health facility?
Md. Teacher Who Wrote School Shooting Book Speaks Out From Mental Institution 

Now, the headline makes it sound as if the teacher was admitted to the mental health facility simply for writing a fiction book about a school shooting. However, the article mentions something about a four-page letter with suicidal overtones and law enforcement receiving information about an inappropriate relationship with a student. There may be more to the story than we are being told, and this teacher might not have been admitted to the mental health facility simply for writing a disturbing novel.

Even so, it is a scary thought to think such a thing could happen. It's frightening to think a teacher could be admitted to a mental health facility for writing fiction others deem as inappropriate. Heck, I've written some pretty dark and disturbing poems and short stories. I guess it's a good thing I never did go into teaching as a career (though I did home educate my daughter through most of grade school and all of middle school and high school, up until she attended college full-time). 



Back when I was in college in the early 90s, I had considered getting a teaching degree. I was in the teacher education program, and actually took one education course. However, I switched my major to biology when the school was going to send me to a student teaching position almost 30 miles from where I resided at the time. I had decided I didn't want to be a teacher that badly. It was probably the right decision. I don't think I have the right personality for it anyway.

I've written some rather dark poetry, some if it drawn from my own personal experiences and emotions. I've written a few dark stories, too, but my poetry can be even more disturbing and personal at times. Perhaps my most personal (though creative, not confessional) is this:

Visages of Betrayal and Madness

Father's harshly stern face peers
From images of days past,
Years full of false promises
And dashed hopes of innocence.
Constant insults remembered
Echo in unquiet head.
Gouging ballpoint scratches out
Dreadfully despised features,
But fails to eradicate
That ever maddening pain.

Mother's embittered face frowns
Amidst expressionless hordes,
Aspect of disappointment
Glimpsed within uncaring crowds.
Search her out to ask her "why?",
But no answers from the dead.
Hatred rekindled burns bright;
Pounding fists beat angry scowl
Well beyond recognition
Wherever it may be seen.

Lover's hardening face turns
From desperate pleading gaze.
Judgmental eyes reveal truth;
Passion becomes resentment.
Remainders of tenderness
Destroyed in treacherous storm
Leave battered heart a bleak wreck.
Hell's monstrous maw swallows all
Once strangling hands tightly grasp
Betrayer's beautiful throat.

Stranger's haggard face looks back
From blemished and broken glass.
Mirror reflects ingrained flaws,
Exposing imperfect soul.
Tortured brow and vacant stare
Speak of shattered illusions;
A dismal life torn to shreds.
Fingers dig at bleeding flesh
Until tattered checks stripped bare
Form morbidly endless smile.

(Originally published in The Monsters Next Door, Issue Eight, September 2009.)

Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay 
Creative works are not necessarily confessional works. If I write about a disturbed individual who kills his lover and attacks anyone who reminds him of his mother, that does not mean I'm going to kill my wife and attacks all short, skinny, grey-haired old hags with hawk noses! If I write about a murdering suicidal artist, like I did in "My Final Masterpiece" that does not mean I wish to become a murdering suicidal artist!

My Final Masterpiece
Naked,
bound together
by rusty razor wire,
our bloodied bodies cry passion
and death.

(Originally published in Niteblade, December 2008.)
Copyright © 2008 Richard H. Fay
My narrators are imaginary personae, not me. I've even written verse from the perspective of inhuman creatures, and I am not an inhuman creature. I am all too human.


Serpent of Storms

Summoned to face nature's untamed rage,
Drawn toward a savage drumbeat roll,
My roars mingle with the drowning din
Of the tempest's malevolent voice
While hunger gnaws an empty belly
Craving thoughts, hopes, dreams, memories.

My black coils swirl in the swollen surge
Of a furious stream in full spate.
Rising well above that churning swell,
Hoping to spy sign of mortal prey,
My bulging orbs scan the muddy banks
Searching for nourishing consciousness.

Stormy sparks flare in my feral eyes
As I spot a lone wandering wretch,
A soul lost in tempestuous murk.
Eager fangs sink into flesh and bone
As I rip the man's brain from his skull,
Leaving a headless corpse in my wake.

Sated by this gruesome feast,
I return to my watery den.
Dimly glimmering pale spectral green
In the lethally raging darkness,
I slide back down into silty muck
As the fell storm begins to subside.

(Originally published in The Monsters Next Door , Issue 6, March 2009.)

Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay

My Final Masterpiece

Naked,
bound together
by rusty razor wire,
our bloodied bodies cry passion
and death.


(Originally published in Niteblade, December 2008.)

Copyright © 2008 Richard H. Fay

http://niteblade.com/home/december-2008/2008/12/01/my-final-masterpiece/

How Do You Define Success?

How do you define success as a freelance artist? Is it defined by making a living off your art, or is it defined by having your art appear in various venues and having it seen and appreciated by a number of people, or is it defined by selling your art and items featuring your art internationally? I may not be a success under the first definition, but I am a success under the other two.

I am quite honest about the fact that, if it were not for my wife's income, I would be a truly starving artist. I could not live on what I am currently making off of my art.

However, I do make money off of my art (enough to report it as income at tax time). I do sell my art. I've sold my art to small-press publications. I've sold licenses for the use of my art. I also sell merchandise featuring my art and designs through three different on-line retailers (Zazzle, CafePress, and Redbubble). As a matter of fact, sales in the stores have steadily increased since I opened them. I suspect the numbers for this year will be better than last.
 
My art has appeared in various venues. Illustrations I've done have appeared within the pages of a number of small-press publications, both print and on-line. Cover artwork I've done has appeared on the covers of a number of small-press publications. There are some web sites out there displaying my artwork legitimately. I've even run across at least one site that used my art in a less-than-legitimate fashion (and I had them remove it).

Though I would love to make more money off of my art, from the perspective of getting my art out there, I consider myself to be a successful freelance artist. Perhaps other might disagree, but I know that my art is out there. I also know that it sells.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Multi-Colour heraldic-Style Rose in my On-Line Stores

I have added my Multi-Colour heraldic Style Rose to my Redbubble Portfolio:
Multi-Colour Heraldic-Style Rose
and a plethora of items in my Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop:
Multi-Colour Heraldic-Style Rose.
I'm currently adding it to a bunch of stuff in my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store, items like this T Shirt:

Multi-Colour Heraldic-Style Rose

Give up on Art? NEVER!

A current open discussion over on the Redbubble blog asks the question:
Do You Ever Feel Like Giving Up on Art?

My response to the question:

Give up on art entirely? No. Give up on certain aspects of it? Yes.

I've come close to giving up on the publication side of art, cover-art and interior illustrations for publications. I do find myself concentrating more and more on my on-line shops (Redbubble, CafePress, and Zazzle), and less and less on unsolicited works for submission to publications. I have become frustrated with the world of publications, and such frustration has quenched my desire to keep trying to move up in that world. At times, it seems like I'm just banging my head against a brick wall.

Now, I will admit, real life has gotten in the way from time to time. I spent several years working "real" jobs, and I've set art aside for a while, but I've always come back to it.

Being an artist is a part of who I am. Give up art? I might as well give up breathing!


Monday, September 1, 2014

Multi-Colour Heraldic Rose

I made a multi-colour version of my heraldic rose. Should I put this one on merchandise in my stores? Yea or nay?

My Godzilla Collection: A List

Just for kicks, I thought I would post a list of my Godzilla figures and some other paraphernalia. This might not be a complete list; I may forget a few things, but here goes (alas, except for the NECA 12" 2014 Godzilla, all packages are long gone):

Trendmaster 1994 Godzilla King of the Monsters 6" King Ghidorah Action Figure
Trendmaster 1994 Godzilla King of the Monsters 6" Mecha-King Ghidorah
Trendmaster 1994 Godzilla King of the Monsters 6" Mecha Godzilla
Trendmaster 1994 Godzilla King of the Monsters 6" Rodan Action Figure
Trendmaster 1994 Godzilla King of the Monsters 6" Mothra Action Figure
Trendmaster 1994 Godzilla King of the Monsters 6" Roaring Godzilla Action Figure
Trendmaster 1994 Godzilla King of the Monsters 10" Roaring Godzilla
Toy Biz 1998 Rumble Roar Power Blast Godzilla (my only remaining G.I.N.O toy)
TY Classic Plush 2001 GODZILLA ( White Eyes - Japan Exclusive )
Toy Vault 2004 50th Anniversary Godzilla Plush Toy
Bandai 6.5" 1954 Godzilla (2002 Version)
Bandai 6.5" Classic Gigan (2002)
Bandai 6.5" 1968 Godzilla (2007)
Bandai 6.5" Godzilla: Final Wars Anguirus (2006)
Bandai 6.5" Millennium 2000 Godzilla (2007)
Bandai 6.5" Classic Hedorah (2007)
Bandai 6.5" 1954 Godzilla (2009 Version)
NECA Godzilla - 12" Head to Tail "Modern Godzilla" Action Figure - Series 1
The Official Godzilla Compendium (1998)

Toy Vault Godzilla Stomp Card Game (2010)

Godzilla 2014 Full Body Refrigerator Magnet

Slow August

Looking back on sales last month, things were a bit slow in August. I saw twelve sales through my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store (though four of those were of multiple quantities), six sales through my Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop, and six sales through my Richard Fay Redbubble Shop. Compare those numbers to my sales from July, when I saw nineteen through Zazzle, thirteen through CafePress, and three through Redbubble. My Redbubble Shop was the only one to see more sales in August than in July.

I'm hoping sales will pick up in September. However, I'm not too worried by these numbers. Sales tend to fluctuate. They come in spurts. As long as my on-line stores see some sales each month, I'm not too worried.