Category Archives: Update

Inspiration Tuesday: Solace by Jonas De Ro + Update

Another piece by Jonas De Ro. This one is entitled Solace and, upon seeing it, a scenario popped in my head.


 

The distant hiss-squawks of azure ravens registered on Okatu’s ear over the gentle flow of the Akira River. These reclusive birds only nested in the mountains around the Tanaka monastery where he had grown up.

When ranging, he’d often dream of their sweet sunset songs as he settled down for rice and jerky, but there was no beauty in their calls this afternoon. They’d been disturbed by distant rumblings–rumblings of war machines–that could be felt through the worked smooth stone beneath his bare feet.

The ravens, quick glints of flapping blue, circled above an area that’d be about a half a day’s walk north toward Moku.

Whatever dark army marched their way, did so while the winds washed the salt of the ocean northward to keep their smell from being sucked south during the evening gusts. A tactically sound move. Very strong. If not for the azure ravens, the monastery would have wrote the rumblings of to Nakabi, the nearby unquiet volcano, and would have been overrun before it could mount a defense.

Because of the raven, monks scurried to make preparations to defend the crown prince. Uncles, fathers, and brothers alike still gave Otaku’s sword a disdainful glance, but they had greater things to worry about now…

© Ezekiel James Boston


solace_by_jonasdero
©2014 www.jonasdero.be
You can find more by Jonas De Ro at:
http://jonasdero.deviantart.com/
https://www.facebook.com/jonas.dero


Update:
How embarrassing. I’ve been making posts to this page every other week and none of them showed. Turns out that I had two things wrong. 1) The posts were set to private. 2) A bit more troubling, the years were set for 2016.

If I were the kind of person who blushes, my cheeks would be full of warm crimson. I’m not, but you get the gist.

So, as not to flood my page, I’m going to be revising the posts and getting them up. I should also have an update on The Adventures of Benjamin Baxter: Yuletide’s Yield on Monday.

—Zeek (EJ)

Inspiration Tuesday: C9rcle by Ian Llanas + Update

This piece entitled C9rcle by Ian Llanas of a raving nightclub hit the same target as Payoff from last week. Thanks to this work, I now know that there will be at least one pivotal club scene in the hi-tech science fiction story brewing on the back burner.

Here’s to hoping the story doesn’t start percolating before I’m ready to capture the contents.

c9rcle_by_ianllanas-d5k7bbq
©2014 Ian Llanas
You can find more by Ian Llanas at:
http://ianllanas.com
http://ianllanas.deviantart.com
https://www.facebook.com/IanLlanasArt


Update:
#1 — ABB:Samhain Shenanigans has gone out to my Alpha Readers (I believe they’re worthy of capital letters). Which means we’re about two weeks from launch! My apologies for not hitting the February publication date. It’s been a tumultuous new year.

#2 — My publisher just relayed that they’ve hit a snag with the ABB:Yuletide Yield cover art. They still have the same plan to get an artist for the next three covers and assure me that I’ll have a cover to drool over by mid April. They don’t my saliva is acidic! Unless they read this. Then they’ll know… And they’ll have it ready… Right, EP?

—Zeek (EJ)

Inspiration Tuesday: Payoff by Jonas De Ro + Update

So, I’ve had this hi-tech science fiction story pinging around my head for the past few years. While I have a solid grasp on the main character and conflict, I haven’t moved forward with it because a time travel element kept trying to force its way in. Thing is, the main idea doesn’t need time travel, but–without it–I kept hitting a wall on how to layer the subplots that spark the main conflict.

This piece entitled Payoff by Jonas De Ro made the story come ringing back with a small twist… The time travel seed didn’t handcuff itself to force me to think about it too. Now I see that a few key subplots can be explained through a character (the kind of character with the misfortune of ending up with a gun pointed at their head, quite often).

Now, I have to do some groundwork to discover who this character is and figure out why the trigger wasn’t pulled that very first time…

JonasDeRo_payoff
©2014 www.jonasdero.be
You can find more by Jonas De Ro at:
http://jonasdero.deviantart.com/
https://www.facebook.com/jonas.dero


Update:
#1 — The site has been redesigned to get away from the heavy use of black. While I thought it looked stellar, I noticed the few sites that I go to with a similar look tend to be a good deal darker than the stuff I get into. Brightening the site made quite the difference in the feel and allows for the art I feature to pop on it’s own instead of struggling up from the background.

#2 — With ABB:Samhain Shenanigans moving toward publication, my publisher has started to look into getting the cover art together for ABB:Yuletide Yield to close out the first trilogy. One sentence got me hyped up. “We are going to shop…to have the same artist for this project onboard for the next cycle of Baxter novels.” (I’m hoping this comes to pass as I’d love the covers to have a consistent art style to them.)

—Zeek (EJ)

Inspiration Tuesday: Imperial Throne Room by Clinton Felker + Update

In honor of the upcoming trailer of Star Wars: Episode VII coming out this weekend, I present Clinton Felker’s take on the Imperial Throne Room if the scene (or franchise) were set in Feudal Japan.

When I stumbled upon this piece, I (shamefully) didn’t see the Star Wars connection. My eyes soaked in the set up of The Emperor’s Royal Guards and equating them to golems, then traveled to Vader (who I didn’t recognize as Vader), then to The Emperor, and it wasn’t until I focused on the symbol on the throne that the entire piece snapped together. After feeling wowed, then silly, I retraced the path my eyes took through the work and enjoyed it again.

The three of them, tirelessly standing guard, painted a scene…


 

Holy Gods! The lock popped!

Carmen dropped the lock picks. She worked the thin, rough edge of the barely cracked open, dark wood door. Her fingers, used to more delicate work, ached. Inch by inch–have to get in–it opened just enough. Scraping herself badly on the wood, she wiggled through, and forced it shut behind her.

I can always buy more tools, but can’t unkill myself if the temple guards best Ragan and Kelmer. She tried not to think of the men fighting in the outer room. “I’ll let them in if they call out.” Her brow knotted. Her conscious called her a liar. Carmen patted her back-up tools and, trying to ignore the sting of betraying her remaining friends, she kept her shoulder pressed into the deep grooves of the door—oak and smoke?—and flicked the switch to drop the latch. Why does it smell like smoke?

Forced pounded into the door.

Like when she had twisted to avoid the minotaur’s sharp, old-blood stained horns only to have its wide, flat head plow into her sternum, Carmen flew away. She gripped at the snapping pain in her shoulder. Reflexes tucked her head, rolled her, and put her back on her feet facing the door to see the new horror chasing her.

Decades of dust puffed from the oak. Amazingly, it held.

She groaned. What in Kolity hit the door? The cloud leant a holy air to the wood. “Dear Gods of Oak, save this soul.” She stifled a moan, scrambled to it, and managed to get the crossbeam to engage. An angry wail screamed down the hall. She jumped back.

Another slam rung against the wood.

Another puff of dust filled the air. This one lighter, as though the door could yawn at whatever was trying to break it down.

Her gaze went to the white-steel hinges. They didn’t even rattle. Xul’s—the group’s Jack of all languages, master of none, not even his own—translation of the script on the map came back to her. “And the door of brimm-oak, before the three statues, leads to the treasure.” Ready to see what most of the party had died for, Carmen turned.

The large statues, set in platemail of their age, stood sentry around a smaller door, a door like the one behind her, one they could never enter. The statues… They’re looking at me and—impossible—breathing!

© Ezekiel James Boston


cgfelker-imperial_throne_room_by_cgfelker-d5prjdz
©2014 cgfelker
You can fine more by Clinton Felker at:
http://cgfelker.deviantart.com/


Update:
Okay, I didn’t change the visibility of my inspiration posts scheduled to post while I was on vacation and getting Birthday Bedlam ready to go. This means the posts went up, but, only I could see them… And I didn’t know that everyone else couldn’t.

So, um, sorry about that.
—Zeek (EJ)