Friday, December 29, 2017

One Again, My Style Has Been Called "Unique"

Message I received today from Zazzle regarding a lovely message someone left on my store wall (and once more my style has been described as "unique"):

Check it Out! You Have New Comments on Your Zazzle Store Wall!
Hi richardfay,
People are talking! Check out the new comments that have been posted about your store.
G&C said on 12/29/2017 4:47:35 AM:
Love this store
The style is extremely unique and there is everything from serious heraldry to extremely cute characters here. Lots of fun!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Someone Said a Few (Wonderful) Words About My Dark Poem "Necromancy"

Now THIS is the sort of thing I LOVE to see when something of mine is mentioned in a review- from an Amazon customer's review of BETE NOIRE #17:
My favorites in this great collection of short fiction and poetry are "Das Requiem" by Matt Andrew, "Love: Apocalyptic" by Chad Stroup, and "Necromancy" Richard H. Fay. Andrew's hauntingly beautiful imagery draws the reader into a bleak landscape and keeps her on the edge of her seat until the final line. Stroup's piece about Adam's attempts to woo the last woman on earth had me laughing out loud. No word was wasted in Fay's evocative poem. I highly recommend this collection.
 I guess that reviewer liked my poem "Necromancy".

Someone Said A Few (Mixed) Words About My Wizardly Fantasy Story

Last night, I discovered that an Amazon reviewer said a few words about my story "Sing the Bones Alive" in a review of BARDIC TALES AND SAGE ADVICE (Vol. VI). The review contained "A Couple Notes On A Couple Stories".

Here's what the reviewer said about my wizardly fantasy story:

"Sing the Bones Alive." In many ways, this story is the antithesis of the above. Malcolm's Box was low on description and light on prose, but high on emotion and heavy on plot. Sing is high on description and heavy on prose, but low on emotion and plot. The actual writing is fantastic, perhaps the best in this volume, it's just that the story is ultimately a child's fairy tale. Which is fine, but I'm (and probably most readers) not a child. The plot is clear and straightforward, the characters goals and motivations are transparent, there's even the classic happy ending and "moral of the story." A quintessential bedtime story. But as an adult, it was lackluster.
Hmm...well, at least the reviewer thought my actual writing was fantastic, "perhaps the best in this volume". That being said, considering how many folktales and fairy tales I have read as an adult, considering how influenced I am by folktales and fairy tales, I'm not sure I agree with the reviewer's suggestion that such tales aren't for adults. Oh, well, reviewers are entitled to their own opinions.

Anyone else care to leave a review mentioning my wizardly fantasy tale? I would love to find out what others think of the work. Looks like the Kindle edition of BARDIC TALES AND SAGE ADVICE Vol. VI is currently ninety-nine cents over at Amazon.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Today, I Wrote an Academic Recommendation

Sent off an academic recommendation for a writer friend of mine. That's the first time someone has asked for such a recommendation from me. Since last time I had much of anything to do with academia was 25 years ago, it took me a little work (and a bit of Googling) to compose a fitting academic recommendation. However, following some examples online, I managed to come up with something appropriate. Hope it helps!

Monday, December 4, 2017

"The Good and the Bad of Critiques" Now Appears on CLASSICALLY EDUCATED

My opinion piece "The Good and the Bad of Critiques" now appears on the CLASSICALLY EDUCATED blog. This is the last in the series of my articles that have been something of a weekly feature over at CLASSICALLY EDUCATED.

Considering the negative reactions my opinions often elicit (especially in the writing world), do you suppose this opinion piece article will elicit any negative comments? That could be rather interesting, in an ironic sort of way. Since the gist of the article is ignoring nonconstructive negative criticism, it would be amusing to see it receive nonconstructive negative feedback.

Then again, perhaps my views of the writing world are shaded by all the negativity I witnessed and was subjected to while hanging out on the fringes of that world. Maybe most will agree with my opinion, even when that opinion states you can ignore negative critiques from editors and other writers.

Friday, December 1, 2017

November PoD Stats

My PoD sales/referrals stats for November 2017:

Zazzle - 35 sales (several of which were of multiple items). 0 cancellations, and 2 referrals.

CafePress - 3 completed orders of a total of 4 items, 0 cancelled orders.

Redbubble - 10 sales (2 of which were of multiple items).

In 2016, my stats for November were as follows:

Zazzle - 18 sales (2 of which were of multiple items), 0 cancellations, 0 referrals.

CafePress - 2 completed orders of a total of 3 items, 1 cancelled order.

Redbubble - 8 sales (none of which were of multiple items).

It looks like I did better this November than last. I almost doubled my sales over at Zazzle, which is something nice to see.

One thing the numbers alone don't tell is the type of items sold. Item-wise, I did even better, at least over at Redbubble. My Redbubble sale last November were mostly of stickers, with one greeting card thrown in for good measure. This November, along with the usual stickers, I also sold a couple of scarves and an A-line dress.

Onwards and upwards!

Monday, November 27, 2017


My non-fiction article "Fairy Thefts" is now up at CLASSICALLY EDUCATED. Unlike most of my other articles on CLASSICALLY EDUCATED, this one never saw publication in a zine. However, it has previously appeared here on my own blog. If you haven't read it here, please consider reading it on CLASSICALLY EDUCATED (maybe even leave a comment):

Cyber Monday!

It's Cyber Monday!
Please consider shopping in one or more of my PoD stores.

My Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store:

My Richard Fay Redbubble Shop:

My Richard Fay CafePress Profile:

Monday, November 20, 2017

"The Darker Side of Fairy Lore" is up on CLASSICALLY EDUCATED

My non-fiction article "The Darker Side of Fairy Lore" now appears on CLASSICALLY EDUCATED. This one originally appeared in the Killer Holiday Issue of Doorways Magazine back in January 2008. Writing-wise, it was actually one of my best sales. Too bad Doorways is long gone! Anyway, Doorways may be gone, but my article lives on! Funny how it works out that way.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Latest Crazy-Net Nuttiness!

POW! Crazy-net has done it to me again!

In response to a tongue-in-cheek Facebook post in which I said:
“I’m not a robot!
I’m not a robot!
How many times have I gotta prove that…
I was told that I am a robot, that I love Wikileaks, that I’m too gullible, and that I don’t use logic when evaluating posts.

WTF? Where the bloody hell is THAT coming from?

I don’t put up with that sort of garbage from close friends and family, so I’m certainly not putting up with it from a mere crazy-net acquaintance! That’s another added to my “block” list.

What surprises me the most about this latest crazy-net craziness is that, this time, it’s not coming from a miserable writer with an over-inflated ego or a nasty wing-nut troll, but from a fellow PoD designer.

Anyway, I gotta ask: if I’m such a robot, if I’m so gullible and illogical, why remain my friend and/or follower? Why pay attention to what I say? Why comment? Why not simply ignore me? Hmm?

BTW, robots are gullible and illogical?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Speculative Poetry Article on CLASSICALLY EDUCATED

My article "Speculative Poetry: Past, Present, and Future" now appears on the CLASSICALLY EDUCATED blog:
This piece, which may be my most important non-fiction article to-date, originally appeared in the on-line version of Abandoned Towers, January 2009, and was also published in print in the Autumn 2012 issue of Illumen. It also appeared online in Altered Reality Magazine.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans Day Sale at Zazzle!

Up to 50% Off Business Cards, Ornaments, Pillows & More 
20% Off Sitewide
Offer is valid through November 14, 2017, 11:59 PM PT.

(Those products with links are available in my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store.)

50% OFF
Business Cards
Canvas Prints

40% OFF
Favor Bags
     Button Magnets
     Stone Magnets
     Flexi Magnets
     Ceramic Ornaments
     Metal Ornaments
     Pewter Snowflake Ornaments
     Ceramic Ball Ornaments
     Acrylic Ornaments
     Square Pillows
     Round Pillows
     Lumbar Pillows
     Outdoor Pillows
     Accent Pillows
Rubber Stamps

25% OFF
Home Wet Bar
MRC Wood Products
Stamp Nouveau

20% OFF
Greeting Cards

My Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Started Reading Shirley Jackson's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE: Some Observations

I've finally decided to make a real effort to read Shirley Jackson's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE cover-to-cover. I have made previous attempts over the years, but always ended up distracted by other things. I read the first few pages, but never seemed to get much farther than that, until now. This time, I intend to finish the book! I've already made it through the first chapter.

After having completed chapter one, I can make a few observations. In the Penguin Books 1984 edition of the novel, the dialogue and action doesn't kick in until two-thirds of the way down page ten. Even with title page and the like, that's about six or seven pages without dialogue or much in the way of action. The first few pages consist mostly of a telling info dump, though a beautifully written and evocative one. Additionally, Shirley Jackson was not afraid to use adverbs on occasion (at times, more than occasionally).

AND YET...THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE (first published in 1959) is considered a classic of supernatural literature.

AND YET...THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE was a finalist for the National Book Award.

AND YET...THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE inspired two major motion pictures, one (the more faithful adaptation) made in 1963, the other in 1999. I gather there is also to be a Netflix series based on the novel.

AND YET...adverb-hating Stephen King listed THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE among the finest of twentieth-century horror novels.

AND YET...the book has been reprinted many times. Amazon currently lists a 2016 Penguin edition, along with a Kindle edition.

I could go on, but I think I've made my point.

Monday, November 6, 2017


My non-fiction article "Vampiric UFOs" (yes, they really are a thing), which was originally published in Hungur, Issue 7, All Souls’ Night 2008, now appears on the CLASSICALLY EDUCATED BLOG (that's my illustration, too):

Recent Sales...Early November Edition

Haven't posted one of these entries in a while, so I figured it's overdue. Now is a good time to post one, since November is actually off to a decent start:

Sold 11/2/2017 through CafePress to a customer in MD, US: one Tudor Rose Travel Mug.

Sold 11/4/2017 through Redbubble to an admirer of art in the US: 1 Sticker of "White Rose of York".

Sold 11/5/2017 through Redbubble to an admirer of art in the US: 4 Stickers of "Three Medieval Swords 2016".

Sold 11/1/2017 through Zazzle to a customer in Chandler, AZ: one pair of Knights Templar Cufflinks.

Sold 11/2/2017 through Zazzle to a customer in Montrose, CO: one Cyberdragon Accent Pillow.

Sold 11/4/2017 through Zazzle to a customer in Northampton, UK: two Tudor Rose Ties.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

October PoD Stats

My PoD sales stats for October 2017:

Zazzle - 10 sales (3 of which were of 2 items each), 0 cancellations.

CafePress - 4 sales, 0 cancellations.

Redbubble - 12 sales

In 2016, my stats for October were as follows:

Zazzle - 12 sales (2 were of 2 items each, 1 was of 25 items), 0 cancellations.

CafePress - 1 sale, 0 cancellations.

Redbubble - 10 sales

I guess, when compared to October 2016, October 2017 wasn't really that bad at all.

Monday, October 30, 2017

"The Alp and the Schrattl" on CLASSICALLY EDUCATED

My non-fiction article "The Alp and the Schrattl", which was originally published in Hungur, Issue 10, Walpurgisnacht 2010, now appears on CLASSICALLY EDUCATED:

Monday, October 23, 2017

"Vampiric Creatures of Ancient Myth and Legend" on CLASSICALLY EDUCATED

My non-fiction article "Vampiric Creatures of Ancient Myth and Legend", which was originally published in Hungur, Issue 6, Walpurgisnacht, 2008, now appears on CLASSICALLY EDUCATED:

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Got Stuck in a Cemetery!

Today, Michele and I attended the Brunswick Historical Society's tour of Forest Park Cemetery. Since we've actually taken the tour twice before (and the historians do drone on a bit), we thought we could do the walk through and cut out early, but Michele's car got blocked in. We ended up stuck in the cemetery for about half and hour. We sat in the car and waited until another vehicle moved so we could get out!

I didn't take a whole lot of photos this time, since I took photos the other times we took the tour. However, I took a few:

Monday, October 16, 2017

Article Republished on CLASSICALLY EDUCATED Blog

My non-fiction article "THE CONNECTION BETWEEN FAIRIES AND THE DEAD", originally published in DISTURBED DIGEST, Issue #4, March 2014, now appears on CLASSICALLY EDUCATED:

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Reading Something Appropriate for Halloween

So as to read something appropriate for the Halloween season, I'm once again reading stories found within TERRIFYING TALES: STORIES OF THE OCCULT FROM AROUND THE WORLD. I picked up where I left off last time I read tales contained within this tome, about one-third of the way through.
The tales may actually be more spooky and eerie than downright terrifying. Additionally, the way they are presented may be dated at times, with typical early 20th century prejudices. However, from the aspect of folklore, I find them to be fascinating. Also, there are a few that make me go "hmm..."

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Interior Illustrations Video

September PoD Sales Stats

My PoD sales stats for September 2017:

Zazzle - 22 sales (several of which were of multiple items), 1 of which was cancelled (the item was re-ordered).

CafePress - 3 completed orders.

Redbubble - 6 sales (one of which was of multiple items).

In 2016, my stats for September were as follows:

Zazzle - 13 sales, 1 of which was cancelled (the item was not re-ordered).

CafePress - 1 completed order, 3 cancelled/declined orders.

Redbubble - 10 sales (none of which were of multiple items).

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A 3-for-3 Day!

It's a 3-for-3 day! I've seen sales today in all three of my PoD stores (my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store, my Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop, and my Richard Fay Redbubble Shop). This is the first time I've seen a 3-for-3 day in quite a while, especially since my CafePress sales took a significant downturn.

Sold 9/14/2017 through Zazzle to a customer in Congleton, England: twenty sheets of Tudor Rose Stickers.

Sold 9/14/2017 through CafePress to a customer in NY, US: one Thistle Sticker.

Sold 9/14/2017 through Redbubble to a customer in the UK: 4x Sticker of Thistle, Size Small.

Selling Stickers

I think it funny that, while I seem to sell more stickers than anything else, some PoD artists/designers simply refuse to sell stickers at all, apparently because the royalties on stickers are so low. I suppose these PoD artists/designers figure that customers will buy more expensive items if stickers are unavailable. However, I'm not sure it really works that way. Additionally, what those refusing to sell stickers don't get is that those low royalties do add up over time. They add up even quicker when selling multiple quantities. Just today, I sold one "Thistle" sticker through CafePress, four "Thistle" stickers through Redbubble and twenty sheets of "Tudor Rose" stickers through Zazzle. As long as it clears, I'll be receiving over $8.00 in royalties for that last sale. That's not bad for just stickers!

It would be foolish of me to refuse to make stickers available through my stores.

Friday, September 1, 2017

August PoD Sales Stats

For those who pay attention to such things, my PoD sales stats for August 2017:

Zazzle - 11 sales (several of which were of multiple items), 0 cancellations (compare that to August 2016, when I saw 9 sales, again some of which were of multiple items, and 0 cancellations).

CafePress - 4 orders, 7 items total sold, 0 cancellations (compare that to 2 orders, 2 items sold, and 3 cancellations, in August 2016).

Redbubble - 5 orders, 11 items total sold (compare that to 10 orders, 13 items total sold, in August 2016).

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


With a thunderous roar
The terrible lizard laughs.
Stomp on the tree ferns!

Here we go a wallowing
in the pig pits.

Brontosaurus footsteps
Precede the savage storm.
The primeval jungle trembles.

Stuff your face with slop.
Long live the belching boar!

A comet blasted the behemoth.
A dark cloud covered the sty.
The ruling reptile lost his throne.

All hail!
The overly exalted hog!

Where is Tyrannosaurus now?
Covered in miles of petrified muck.
The sow is inspired.

A pig, is a pig, is a pig,
But a pig by any other name
Is a dirty, disgusting,
Homo sapiens.

Copyright © Richard H. Fay

This one scored a 2.5 in the Poetry Assessor!

Poetry Assessor Results

I entered some of my published poems into this poetry assessor:

I figured most of my poems would score low, and I was right, especially when it came to my dark poetry:

  • "What Greets Me At The End" (originally published in the May 2011 Issue of Cover of Darkness) scored a -1.3.
  • "Life is the Life" (published in The Monsters Next Door, Contest Issue 4.5, November 15, 2008, Scattered Verses, Moonlit Curses Horror Poetry Anthology, May 2009, Aphelion, October 2011, and Night to Dawn 27, April 2015 Issue, February 2015.) scored a -0.7.
  • "Souls Adrift" (published in Fear and Trembling, April 8, 2010, Aphelion, May 2011, and Dark Metre, Issue 17, December 2, 2012.) scored a -2.8. (Please note that as this poem has fewer than 80 words the score should be interpreted with caution.)
  • "The Damnation of Daniel Brewster" (originally published in The New Bedlam Project, Vol. 1, Issue 1, April 2009) scored a -1.7.
  • "Corpse Candles" (published in the June 2008 issue of Niteblade, Lost Innocence: A Niteblade Anthology 2007-2008, and  Deadman's Tome, October 2010.) scored a 1.8.
  •  "Gathering of the Dead" (published in Tales from the Moonlit Path, Halloween Issue, October 2009, House of Horror, Issue #17, Halloween 2010, and Cover of Darkness, March 2012) scored a -1.6.

I also tried some lighter pieces:

  • "Galactic Road Trip" (originally published in Tales of the Talisman Volume IV, Issue 1, Summer 2008, also published in the on-line version of Abandoned Towers, October 2008.) scored a whopping 3.1.
  • "Amongst Faerie Oaks" (originally published in Abandoned Towers, Issue #4, November 2009) scored a 1.5. (Please note that as this poem has fewer than 80 words the score should be interpreted with caution.)
  • "The Brownie" (originally published in FrostFire Worlds, Issue 1, August 2013, and also published in also Aphelion, July 2015) scored a 0.1.

Thinking maybe my low scores are due, in part, to low word counts (my poems tend to be on the short side), I tried my longest piece to-date, "Shroudeater" (published in Hungur, Issue 10, Walpurgisnacht 2010, Thirsty Are the Damned: A True Vampire Anthology, December 2011, and Night to Dawn 25, April 2014 Issue, February 2014). Alas, that one scored a -0.9.

I tried one more long dark poem, "Never Ending Struggle" (originally published in Death Head Grin #39, October 2012 and also published in Aphelion, Issue 198, Volume 19, August 2015), and that one scored a -0.1.

It seems this assessor didn't like my dark poetry. Strange, I always thought my dark verse was my strongest verse.

Anyway, regardless of what this assessor said, my poems were good enough for the various editors who published them. That's all that really counts. (At least some of the poems I entered were published multiple times.)

BTW, since someone suggested the assessor is set up to assess contemporary poetry, not "olde" poetry, I entered my more contemporary dark poem "Your Bloody Face" (published in Tales from the Moonlit Path, Issue 9, February 2008, Scattered Verses, Moonlit Curses Horror Poetry Anthology, May 2009, and House of Horror, Issue 9, Special Valentine's Issue, February 2010). That one scored a 0.2.

I also tried three more science fiction pieces. Interestingly enough, they tended to score higher than my dark poems:

  • "Holiday on Phreetum Prime" (originally published in Star*Line, March/April 2008 and also published in the on-line version of Abandoned Towers, October 2008) scored a 2.6.
  • "The Birth of Sentience on Aggraboth V" (originally published in The Fifth Di..., Edition 10, #1, March 2008 and also published in the on-line version of Abandoned Towers, October 2009) scored a 0.6.
  • "Cosmic Journey" (published in The Sword Review, September 3, 2007, the on-line version of Abandoned Towers, August 2008, and While the Morning Stars Sing, ResAliens Press, August 2011.) scored a 1.9.

Now for a bit of irony: the poem of mine that at least one critic bashed for its archaic language, the poem of mine that received a low overall rating over on the Every Day Poets site, "Winter Crows" (published in Every Day Poets, March 10, 2009) scored a 2.2. Could the relatively high score be due to the fact that it's one of my rare forays into mainstream poetry? Hmm...

Guess again! Another of my mainstream works, "Life's Waning Season" (published in Abandoned Towers, Issue #7, November 2010), scored a -4.1!

I even tried a couple of poems by other poets. I went with two of my favourites: Poe's "The Raven", and Blake's "The Tyger". Both scored a 0.5.

I'm calling "bullshit!" on this poetry assessor!

Of course, the poetry snob who (while in the midst of a drunken tirade) called me a poetaster might actually agree with the assessor's assessment of my poetry. wink

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New Azure Lion Productions Business Card Design

I added my new business card design to standard cards over at Zazzle. I had to make a few minor adjustments to the bottom layers and expand them to cover the bleed area. Just now, I put in my order for my free pack of cards. They should be on their way soon!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Recent Sales

I don't think I've posted about my recent sales in a while, so I figure it's time I did.

Sold 8/6 through Zazzle (via a 3rd party) to a customer in Fort Worth, TX: 20 White Rose of York Keychains.

Sold 8/11 through Zazzle (via a 3rd party) to a customer in Fort Worth, TX: 20 White Rose of York Keychains (that's 20 more sold to the the customer as above).

Sold 8/19/through Zazzle to a customer in Waukesha, WI: one sheet of Polish Eagle Square Stickers.

Sold 8/20 through Zazzle (via a 3rd party) to a customer in Manchester, NH: one Lighthouse Air Freshener and one Irish harp Air Freshener.

Sold 8/6 through CafePress to a customer in PA, US: one Lion Rampant Gules Sticker.

Sold 8/6 through CafePress to a customer in ON, CA: a total of four Polish Eagle T-Shirts.

Sold 8/12 through CafePress to a customer in PA, US: one Thistle Sticker.

Sold 8/14 through CafePress to a customer in CA, US: one Thistle Sticker.

Sold 8/14 through Redbubble to a customer in the UK: 1x Sticker of Scottish Thistle & Saltire, Size Small (95mm x 76mm).

Sold 8/14 through Redbubble to a customer in the US: 1x Sticker of Thistle, Size Medium (5.5" x 4.7").

Sold 8/15 through Redbubble to a customer in the US: 3x Sticker of Thistle, Size Small (3.5" x 3.0").

Sold 8/19 through Redbubble to a customer in the US: 2x Sticker of Red Rose of Lancaster, Size Small (3.0" x 3.0"), 2x Sticker of White Rose of York, Size Small (3.0" x 3.0"), 2x Sticker of Tudor Rose, Size Medium (5.5" x 5.4").

Obviously, stickers remain among my most popular items, and my "Thistle" (either on the saltire or by itself), "Polish Eagle", and heraldic roses remain my most popular designs.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Confronting the Dragon

"Confronting the Dragon"
Cover artwork for July 2013 issue of BARDS AND SAGES QUARTERLY.
Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay

PoD Sales Stats for July

For those who are interested in such things, my PoD sales stats for July:

Zazzle - 11 sales with 1 cancellation (the item was reordered) this July (2017), 17 sales with 2 cancellations last July (2016).

CafePress - 4 sales this July, 1 sale with 2 cancellations (the customer attempted to order the item twice before the order went through) last July.

Redbubble - 6 sales this July, 4 sales last July.

So, my Zazzle sales went down, but not by much, while my CafePress sales and Redbubble sales actually went up slightly. However, to be fair, the CafePress sales and cancellations in July 2016 reflect the hit my sales took after my failed experiment trying to sell solely through the CafePress Marketplace.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Who Knows Who Is The Dragon In “Confronting The Dragon”? Um, I Do!

Sometimes, you can get into some rather far-out discussions on the crazy-net. Last night, in a dragon group I recently joined on Facebook, another member of the group and I were discussing whether or not the magic user in my artwork “Confronting the Dragon” (which originally appeared as cover art for the July 2013 issue of BARDS AND SAGES QUARTERLY) would actually be able to defeat the dragon he is confronting in the piece. The other member of the group stated that, since dragons are high-class wizards, magic won’t work against them. I said it depends; it depends on the power of the wizard, how magical the dragon is, and the details of the particular lore or fantasy universe. I also pointed out ‘twas magic that destroyed the dragon Vermithrax in the movie DRAGONSLAYER (1981). The other member replied by stating that wisdom and huge magical powers makes dragons’ roles. I responded to that by saying that not all dragons in lore or fiction are highly intelligent or capable of speech. Therefore, not all dragons in lore or fiction are highly magical spell casters. I also asserted that there is room for ALL sort of dragons, highly intelligent or not, in greater dragon lore. The other person in the discussion then suggested “who knows who is this dragon?”

Who knows who is this dragon? Um, well, I do. To be perfectly honest, the dragon is who I say it is. As I told the person debating the point of whether or not the wizard in my artwork “Confronting the Dragon” stands a chance of defeating said dragon, I drew it. If I say the dragon is more monstrous-but-mundane animal than magical entity, if I say the wizard stands a chance of defeating it (though that’s not entirely clear from the artwork - the wizard MIGHT be toast), then that’s the way it is. My creation, my story, my rules.

I also pointed out that I tend to draw a lot of my inspiration from traditional folklore rather than from current fiction or New Age beliefs (or role playing games - forgot to mention that last night). I drew the dragon in “Confronting the Dragon” as a creeping lizard-type creature (though with wings), and I did that deliberately to reflect the dragons of European lore. Though I have drawn other dragons that I consider to be much more intelligent (I certainly think they are intelligent-looking), I intended the one in this work to be more animalistic in nature. At best, he’s along the lines of a Smaug.

Anyway, I know art is open to interpretation, but if I say the dragon in my artwork “Confronting the Dragon” may be defeated by magical means, then it may be defeated by magical means. After all, dragons ARE imaginary creations, the stuff of folklore and fiction. Within the broader parameters of what makes a dragon a dragon, dragons can be whatever their creators want them to be.

Nipper Statue Pics

Today, Michele and I did a "Nipper Walk". We checked out most of the painted Nipper statues in Albany (we missed two or three). Michele snapped pics of some of the more interesting ones. I added a sampling of Michele's Nipper pics to the album named, appropriately-enough, "Nipper Statues".

Here's a link to a Times Union article about the painted nipper statues:

Albany summer street exhibit features Nipper statues

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Branding vs. Style

In a recent Facebook post, a rather famous and extremely successful artist and Facebook friend of mine listed his own rules and ideas for success in art. Number nine on his list was the simple statement "fuck branding".  In some ways, I agree with my Facebook friend when he says "fuck branding".

I know others claim that branding is vitally important to success as a creative, but I question this claim. In some ways, when it comes to art, I think "branding" an unnecessary concept. I believe possessing a distinctive "style" is far more important than developing a specific "brand".

Now, I kind of get the whole concept of "branding". I understand the importance of having imagery and themes that are distinctive, recognizable, and memorable to success as an artist. I acknowledge the importance of building a certain reputation. However, I question how different such "branding" is from "style". In other words, an artist may have a distinctive, recognizable, and memorable style. If an artist's style is distinctive, recognizable, and memorable enough, it could be said that that artist's style and brand are one and the same.

As a promotional tool, branding may have its uses, but only to a point. Telling others about your brand is fine and dandy, but when it comes to art, sooner or later you have to show the world what you're talking about. I can say that my style is "unique" and oftentimes "quirky" (words others have used to describe my art), but I would rather let my style speak for itself.  I can declare that my work is inspired by history, myth, folklore, and legend (and I do), but viewers of my works can actually see that for themselves. Even so, I would hate to be restricted to JUST that brand, SOLELY art inspired by history, myth, folklore, and legend. That's where I get really annoyed over the whole "branding" thing.

One thing I resist strongly is being confined into one little box branded "illustrator inspired by history", or "artist inspired by myth and folklore", or fantasy artist", or "horror artist", etc. Though my style is my own, I refuse to remain restricted to just a handful of subjects and themes. I love to draw dragons and knights, but I also like to experiment with more abstract art on occasion. Even though I have done a number of darker works for horror publications, I have also created several lighter pieces for publications geared toward younger readers. Admittedly, my style might be best suited for medieval fantasy, but I have also had a bit of success with sci-fi art and illustrations. To be quite honest, I prefer versatility over being trapped within the boundaries of a certain "brand".

It seems to me that "branding" is really just a catchphrase people like to throw around when they want to sound like they know what they're talking about. When you boil it down, a lot of the talk about "branding"is empty gobbledygook.


Copyright © 2017 Richard H. Fay

Big Sale Over at Zazzle!

Zazzle is currently running a big "Christmas in July Sale".

Up to 60% Off Cards, Stickers, Ornaments & More
20% Off Sitewide
Offer is valid through July 26, 2017, 11:59 PM PT.

Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store

60% OFF
Acrylic Ornaments
Ball Ornaments
Gift Tags
Greeting Cards
Snowflake Ornaments

50% OFF
Acrylic Art
Ceramic Ornaments
Christmas Stockings
Fleece Blankets
Metal Ornaments

40% OFF
All-Over-Print Tote Bags
Car Air Fresheners
Gift Bags

30% OFF
Bunting Flags
Snow Globes
Tree Skirts
Wrapping Paper

20% OFF
Leather Goods
Faux Taxidermy

Thursday, July 20, 2017

My Grandfather - the Town Drunk

I know my relatives have a problem with me revealing nasty truths about my late mother on the internet. They even had her estate attorney send me a scare letter to try to get me to stop saying such "despicable" things online. Not that I truly give a damn about what my relatives think, but I thought I would shift focus today and talk about that abusive drunkard who was my maternal grandfather. You see, when it came to my mother, the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

My grandfather was something of the town drunk. He would frequently be seen stumbling down the sidewalk along Main Street as he roved from bar to bar. My wife and I witnessed this at least once, one of the various times we went down to my hometown to visit my grandmother. I must say, it was a sorry sight indeed!

Going further back, I recall one night I was staying over at my grandparents' house and heard a ruckus coming from downstairs. Apparently, my grandfather had come home so drunk that he couldn't find his keys to unlock the backdoor. Undeterred by such a small detail, he broke in the backdoor window. My grandmother called the cops. When the police arrived, I was in bed, but wide awake. Even though I was in a room upstairs, I clearly heard my grandmother speaking to the policeman (acoustics were strange in that old house). Of course, my family thought I had slept through the whole thing, but that simply wasn't true. I heard a lot more that night than anyone ever realized. At least I can say things stayed relatively calm that night, which I can't say about other times I witnessed my grandfather in action.

My grandparents oftentimes got into drunken rows, some of which turned violent. One time, when I was just a child, I tried to stop my grandfather beating on my grandmother by flinging a laundry basket upon his head. I was rewarded for my valiant efforts by having the laundry basket slammed onto my head so hard my ears burned. I vividly recall bawling while trying to phone my mother to have her come get me.

Such rows were in no way restricted to ordinary days. Holidays could be pretty damned tense. Whenever the family gathered at my grandparents' house, the threat that a verbal altercation or even a physical brawl might erupt at any moment always hung over our heads. I recall at least one family gathering (Christmas Eve, perhaps?) during which my aunt and her boyfriend suddenly whisked me away on a trip to the store, ostensibly to pick up a necessary item, but more likely because my grandparents were gearing up for yet another of their infamous fights. Even though I was just a kid, I felt the tension in the air in that house that day, and knew something wasn't right.

If more proof is needed that my grandfather was a violent abusive drunk, there is the matter of his stint in county jail. Yes, my grandfather had spent time behind bars, for hitting a police office, nevertheless! One of those nights my grandmother actually called the police, my grandfather slugged the responding officer. Though I don't recall being there that night, I do seem to recall being with my grandmother when she either visited my grandfather in jail or picked him up after he got out of jail (most likely the latter). I was quite young at the time, but I do seem to recall visiting the jail for some reason. That's the sort of memory that sticks with a kid. It's certainly not the sort of memory a young child is likely to fabricate out of thin air.

Yep, my maternal grandfather was quite the upstanding citizen, NOT! Anyway, it's all just memories now (though I still carry psychological and emotional scars because of what I witnessed and what I experienced). My grandfather died in 2001, and good riddance to bad rubbish! If any of my relations have a problem with me saying such awful things about such an awful person, too bad! As far as I know, I was one of the few in that dysfunctional family to ever stand up to that abusive bastard, and I did so WHEN I WAS JUST AN EFFING KID! So, there!

College Makes Men Transgender - Say, What?

According to Christian Looney Tune Pat Robertson, "...College Turns Men Into 'Transgenders’ Who Believe in Evolution And Global Warming".

Jesus Christ, what a nutter!

Well, I accepted the scientific theory and fact of evolution before I went to college, but seeing as how I went to college for biology, I'm sure it reinforced my acceptance of evolution as both theory and fact. I also took atmospheric science 101 in college, which means I have enough basic knowledge of climate to accept the findings of all those science articles I've read explaining that global warming is real. As for college turning men transgender, I might not be the manliest man going, but I am still a man. I'm also a husband and a father. I was actually married by the time I went to university, and my daughter was born before I graduated.

Anyway, I guess the Pope is actually a disciple of Satan because the current Pope also believes in evolution and global warming.

"Got to market it."

"Got to market it."

Yes, I agree. If an artist/designer wants to sell his or her artworks/designs or merchandise featuring his or her works through PoD sites, they have to market it. They have to promote their stuff. That's why I promote my stuff on places like my "Richard H. Fay - Artist" Facebook page:

And my Azure Lion Productions Pinterest profile:

And my Richard H. Fay Twitter account:

And, for what it's worth, my Azure Lion Productions Tumblr blog:

I even promote here, on my Azure Lion Productions Blogger blog.

I also promoted my stuff on Google+, but Google sent me a warning claiming I was spamming. After that, I closed my Google+ account.

I even posted some stuff on StumbleUpon, but I haven't posted anything new there in quite a while now.

I'm always working at getting my stuff out there and getting it seen. I  do understand the importance of marketing and self-promotion.  Having a distinctive style that stands out from the rest certainly helps. However, I think the most important thing of all is to have artworks and designs people like on items people want to buy. Everything else is ancillary.

Over at Redbubble: 20% off Posters, Art Prints, and Art Boards

Today at Redbubble:
20% off Posters, Art Prints, and Art Boards.
Use code HAPPYWALLS20 at checkout.
Expires July 20, 2017 at 11:59pm PT.

Richard H. Fay - Posters

Richard H. Fay - Art Prints

Richard H. Fay - Art Boards

I do sell art prints and posters on occasion, but I don't think I've sold any art boards yet. I would love to see an art board featuring one of my works sell through my Redbubble shop. I think art boards are kind of cool.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Been Sellin' For a While Now

Just to clarify...

When it comes to selling my art, or selling merchandise featuring my art, I'm no newbie.
I've been selling my art, which many people have called "unique" in style, before there was ever a Zazzle, or a CafePress, or a Redbubble. I sold my art, as framed art and bookmarks, at a local medieval fair before there were ever such things as Zazzle, or CafePress, or Redbubble.

Before I ever sold merchandise featuring my art through PoD stores, I sold artworks and illustrations to various small-press publications. My interior illustrations and filler artworks have appeared in a plethora of publications, while my cover artworks have also appeared on a number of different publications.

My art sold on PoD merchandise before I ever had a store of my own. An editor/publisher friend of mine once had a Zazzle store and featured some of my works on merchandise she made available through her store )I got a cut of the royalties). And, yes, items featuring some of my works did indeed sell through her store.

I've had my own Zazzle store since June 2010. I sold my first item (a "Robin in Sherwood" T shirt) through my own store July 8th of that same year. I've been selling fairly regularly through my Zazzle store ever since.

A 2-fer Day! Sold a Sticker and a Greeting Card

Just to prove yet again that my artworks do sell, and oftentimes sell on stickers...
SOLD 7/19/2017 through Redbubble to a customer in Canada: 1x Sticker of Three Medieval Swords 2016.

More proof that my works do sell, sometimes on greeting cards...
SOLD 7/19/2017 through Redbubble to a customer in the UK: 1x Greeting Card of Crusader Knight, Early 13th Century.

Would love to see more days like today.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sold a "Mechanical Dragon Sticker"

Sold something through CafePress, something over than a thistle sticker...

SOLD 7/16/2017 through CafePress to a customer in Warwickshire, GB: one Mechanical Dragon Sticker.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I'm especially pleased whenever merchandise featuring an artwork or illustration of mine that I originally sold to a publication (in this case Issue 36 of BEYOND CENTAURI) sells through one of my PoD stores. I see it as extra validation of my work (yes, I'm insecure enough to crave such validation). It also means I'm getting a little extra income out of a pre-existing work, which is always a good thing.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Looks like I'm going to have more art published in 2018...

I just received an e-mail from Julie Ann Dawson, the editor of BARDS AND SAGES QUARTERLY, accepting my fantasy artwork "Defending the Manor" for the April 2018 issue of her magazine (a semi-pro one, according to the BARDS AND SAGES QUARTERLY Wikipedia page). Not bad for not working on loads of art for unsolicited submissions to publications (I've only done two so far this year, both of which I sent to regular venues of mine, and both of which have been accepted for publication). If I'm counting correctly, this is the fifth artwork of mine to be accepted for cover-art for that particular publication. Cool!

Thanks, Julie!

Onwards and upwards!

Previous BARDS AND SAGES QUARTERLY cover artworks of mine:

"Elf and Troll" Bards and Sages Quarterly (July 2011) 

"An Invitation to Elfame" Bards and Sages Quarterly (January 2012)

"Confronting the Dragon" Bards and Sages Quarterly (July 2013) (Volume 5)

"Morgan Le Fay" Bards and Sages Quarterly (January 2015)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Republication of "Robert the Bruce" Article

My non-fiction article "Robert the Bruce", which was originally published in ABANDONED TOWERS, Issue #6, July 2010, now appears in ALTERED REALITY MAGAZINE:
The Bruce is one of my favourite historical figures.

Republication of "Edward IV" Article

My non-fiction article "Edward IV", which was originally published in ABANDONED TOWERS, Issue #7, November 2010, now appears in ALTERED REALITY MAGAZINE:

Republication of "Some Arms and Armour Terms and Facts"

He, he, he, I'm so very fond of this one...
My non-fiction article "Some Arms and Armour Terms and Facts", which originally appeared on the CLASSICALLY EDUCATED blog back in July 2014, now appears in ALTERED REALITY MAGAZINE:
I love the snarky tone in this one. If I ever decide to get back into writing for publication (and right now that's a very big "if"), I want to write more pieces like this one!

Republication of the Article "The Alp and the Schrattl"

My non-fiction article "The Alp and the Schrattl", which was originally published in HUNGUR, Issue 10, Walpurgisnacht 2010, now appears in ALTERED REALITY MAGAZINE:
It's one of three articles about vampire creatures I had written for HUNGUR. The other two were "Vampiric UFOs" and "Vampiric Creatures of Ancient Myth and Legend". I also wrote a poem about a schrattl ("Shroudeater") and a story about the alpe ("Vengeance of the Alpe").

Republication of "The Darker Side of Fairy Lore"

Now, here's the republication of an oldie-but-goodie: my non-fiction article "The Darker Side of Fairy Lore", which was originally published in DOORWAYS MAGAZINE, Killer Holiday Issue, Issue 4, January 2008, now appears in ALTERED REALITY MAGAZINE:

Republication of Opinion-Piece Article

My opinion piece article "The Good and the Bad of Critiques", which was originally published in CREATOR AND THE CATALYST back in August 2009, now appears in ALTERED REALITY MAGAZINE:
I think most of what I said back in August 2009 still applies today.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Some women who have influenced me and my work

Katharine Mary Briggs (reading AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FAIRIES when I was in middle school changed my life forever)

Ursula K. Le Guin (I probably wouldn't have written poems and stories about wizards nearly as much as I have if I hadn't been inspired by her Earthsea trilogy).

Cathy Buburuz (one of the first editors to accept my work for publication, and the one who gave me the nudge to start submitting my own artwork, the first few pieces of which were heavily influenced by her own artwork).

Terrie Leigh Relf (another editor who accepted a number of my works, one who nudged me into writing stories and non-fiction articles, as well as the author of THE POET'S WORKSHOP, which inspired me to write cinquains).

Adelaide Crapsey (I love her cinquain "November Night", and once I began writing my own, I looked to the one I've always adored as a model.)

Jean Elizabeth Martin (my artwork has been heavily influenced by the illustrations used in the role playing game rule books and supplements of the '70s, '80s, and '90s, including the line-drawings of Jean Elizabeth Martin, JEM.)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Republication of Speculative Poetry Article

My non-fiction article "Speculative Poetry: Past, Present, and Future" (one of my most informative articles to-date) is now up in ALTERED REALITY MAGAZINE. This piece originally appeared in the on-line version of ABANDONED TOWERS back in January 2009 (was it really eight years ago?). It also appeared in Issue 17 of the print zine ILLUMEN.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

On my use of "rampant" instead of "segreant"...

In a comment somewhere (I think in one of my stores), a pedantic expert on heraldry once pointed out that, for a heraldic griffin rearing up with fore paws raised, the term "segreant" is technically more correct than the term "rampant". However, some of my sources use the term "rampant" for such griffins. At least one heraldry web site states that "segreant" is an alternative form of "rampant" used exclusively for griffins ( I believe it might also used for winged dragons like the wyvern). Anyway, I think "rampant' is a less obscure term than "segreant". As a store owner, I don't want to get too obscure by getting too technical when naming and tagging my designs. Ultimately, I go with what seems to work best in my stores.

Rebuilding my Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop.

I recently re-opened and am currently working at rebuilding my Azure Lion Productions CafePress Shop. I'm trying to make it, if not bigger, at least better than it was before. Some recent additions to the shop include (trying for a diverse mix):
"Griffin Rampant Sable"
"Tentacled Monstrosity"
"Scootering With The Wind Riders"
"Cute Vampire"
"Red Rose of Lancaster"
"Mechanical Dragon"
"German Eagle"
"Multi-Colour Heraldic-Style Rose"
"Lion Rampant Gules"
"It Wants To Come In"
“Goblin Trick or Treat”
“Leek and Daffodil Crossed”
“Unicorn Rampant”
“Tortured Souls”
“Apothecary Shop”
“They Come in Peace”
“Denizens of the Diabolic Wood”
“Tudor Rose”

Friday, January 6, 2017

Photos of " "Eastern Dragon Ceramic Ornament"

Here are the two photos of my "Eastern Dragon Ceramic Ornament" that I added to the "Media" section of my Richard Fay/Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store. That means my store is finally at 100% completion.

"You Coo-Coo"

Earlier today, over in another artist’s Facebook thread, I was told that I “coo coo”, but not to take it personally, I think it’s funny when someone flings a possible insult, veiled or otherwise, my way and then tells me not to take it personally. It’s crap like that why I hate trying to make meaningful connections and network with other creatives. I usually see it more in the writing field than in the field of visual art, but I know some visual artists are capable of such crap.

You know what? It’s a fact that I’m a science fiction/fantasy/horror artist and illustrator. It’s also a fact that I’m a speculative poet on occasion. Having a great imagination is a prerequisite for doing what I do. I’ve also been known to use my imagination to meld diverse styles of imagery, like melding sci-fi with the medieval. If stating such facts and sharing one example of my art that exemplifies what I’m talking about means I’m “coo-cooing”, so be it!

Anyway, I’m an artist who has developed his own style. That’s not just a baseless brag, others have called my style “unique”!

Oh, and if some artists have a problem with me including original publication info and a copyright notice when I share examples of my published art: TOUGH! It’s not “coo-cooing”, it’s notifying people that the work was previously published and that I own the copyright to that previously published work! I bet my intellectual property rights lawyer would recommend I ALWAYS include a copyright notice.

Of course, if the artist meant “you are coo-coo” instead of “you coo-coo”, then they might have been calling me a lunatic instead of a braggart. However, I’m sane enough to know what works for me. Call me crazy or call me a braggart, either way, I find it kind of insulting.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Adventure Havens: Apothecaries and Alchemists

Now in print: 

Adventure Havens: Apothecaries and Alchemists

I did the cover artwork and the interior shop signs for this one. I can finally say that my artwork appears in a published fantasy role playing game book, which has always been a dream of mine ever since I purchased my first Dungeons & Dragons Basic and Expert rule books back in the 1980s. Though I have cut back on my involvement with publications in general, I'm always willing to do this sort of work on assignment.

I will have to frame one of my artist copies to hang in my library alongside some of the other publications featuring my cover artworks.