Category Archives: Words

Inspiration Tuesday: The Smoking Hedgehog by shende-bende

So I have a writer-friend who thoroughly enjoys Lewis Carroll’s Alice tales. This smoking hedgehog, not to be confused with a hookah smoking caterpillar, looks like it could be right at home in that universe. Well, not there precisely, but somewhere in my imagination that is not very far from there.


 

Drawing a puff of the delectable seven-leaf Wonderland blend, Germaine clamped down lightly on her lucite pipe stem and smacked her lips around it. First drag in. Nodding appreciatively at the subtle larkspur undertones, she almost smiled at the tendrils of rainbow smoke braiding themselves.

Shortly after leaving Wonderland, she cultivated a sense of time. Never–in the decades since–had she missed the land more.

There…

There were colors. Powerfully radiant colors that could almost reach out and poke you in the eye and, if you weren’t careful about it, would. …not that anything unwelcomed could ever get through her spectacles. There, Germaine’s glasses kept her from becoming lost in the aching beauty of everything.

Here…

Here in the silent Blandlands, color proved to be the most elusive of creatures. The wide prairies of crabgrass that ran out into the featureless horizon beneath the equally drab sky? Cold shades of light gray. The rare paperback maple trees peelings had the most range with their somber medium gradient deepening to charcoal in the pockets of shadow.

Germaine had search far and long to find a spot to place her home.

Eventually, when all of the color faded, the house just stopped walking and settled down among a patch of trees. She–for her part–took out her stool and simply sat to wait for the house to raise back up.

She puffed again. Had it really been decades?

The tendrils of rainbow smoke, in typical Wonderland fashion, curled and bent to form a cursive answer. Yes.

Thinking back on the fast-talking traveling salesman in his disheveled hundred dollar suit–the one who foisted this amazingly fine tobacco on her–Germaine caught a kiss of color. Where the smoke had ran across her snout, the pink and lavender of the fur there had returned.

© Ezekiel James Boston


04--shende_bende-the_smoking_hedgehog_by_shende_bende-d5u74is
©2013-2015 shende-bende
You can fine more by shende-bende at:
http://shende-bende.deviantart.com/

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: Tough Runt by Adam Connolly

I’ve always been a huge fan of art and have found my imagination spinning out of control when masterful work is found.

…and so continues Inspiration Tuesday.


Inspiration removed for use in my fiction. Sorry. –EJ–

tough_runt_by_aconnoll-d7k6vbp tough_runt_topview_by_aconnoll-d7ke3iy tough_runt_black_edition_by_aconnoll-d7kb1ys 
©2014 aconnoll
You can find more by Adam Connoll at deviantART (links below):
aconnoll.deviantart.com/art/Super-7-sideview-413148307 aconnoll.deviantart.com/art/Zombie-Grader-7311-426401302 aconnoll.deviantart.com/art/Long-John-454234502

Inspiration Tuesday: Skeletal Champion by Scott Purdy

Something about this skeletal champion really speaks to me as a lead villain. Perhaps it’s the rich purple robe and almost lich like qualities.

I’ve used this piece for reference during a short story and plan on coming back to it in a few months to fold it into a larger project. As noted by the copyright below, this is art for a Paizo monster, but don’t let the white background limit your imagination…


 

The reek of death–rot unchecked by time, unstirred by wind–thickened as George moved into the hewn stone cavern. Not content with only clogging his nose, the funk pooled in his mouth and worked toward triggering his gag reflex.

He stopped where the long strands of sunlight, which had warmed his skin minutes ago, drew a hard line. A warning line. Safety stops here. George eased back to keep the toes of his new hiking boots an inch inside the retreating light. Why the Hell did I volunteer to take my little brother, and his creepy D&D pals, camping? As though to answer, his hand squeezed the ten twenty dollar bills his parents paid him. One step closer to owning my own car. That’s why. He shuffled back a little to stay on the lit ground. “Angelo?”

Thunk. Metal on stone. Then something heavy being dragged like bags of flower in their parents bakery.

If that nut-job Jake jumps out at me, I’m going to knock his ass out. At least I hope I do. So far, he’d fought back the gag, but the scream warming up in the batter’s circle of his throat would be another matter. “Come out you losers. We gotta finish making camp.”

Soft airy laughter–exactly something Jake would do–danced from the absolute darkness.

A chill ran George’s spine. His skin broke out in goosebumps. Screw this! “Tell ya what. I’ll be outside, comfortable, eatin’ dinner when you asses decide to stop clowning around.”

That airy laughter preceded a raspy, hollowed voice. “Oh, we’ll come out for dinner too!”

A full shiver racked George’s back. What. The. Hell? He stumbled backward and retreated toward the setting sun behind him.

Beating his pace, the dragging sound drew closer.

© Ezekiel James Boston


ScottPurdy_SkeletalChampion
© Paizo Publishing
Click to enlarge.
You can find more by Scott at:
http://scottpurdy.deviantart.com

Inspiration Tuesday: Barnstormer by Claybeast

Since I’ve started this blog for my fiction, I’m going to follow a bit of advice to include stuff that interests me and might intrigue my readers. Well, I’ve always been a huge fan of art and have found my imagination spinning out of control when masterful work is found.

…and so this marks the beginning of Inspiration Tuesday.


 

This wonderful piece brings to mind the various totems, knickknacks, and tchotchke that can be found in a great many spiritual stores across the country. Barnstormer, though, seems to be a special piece pulled from the far corner of a dark and acrid basement in a great-aunt’s gothic house out in the countryside.

Yes, eccentric Aunt Ellabrie with her wide brim hats, countless jangling bangles, and Paco Rabanne perfume. She always sends a birthday card with a number of single dollar bills equal to your age… all printed the year you were born. Every year. Without fail.

Upon waking, the world felt off. Heavier.

For some odd reason, a fleeting thought–sure hope Ol’ Aunt Ella is well–goes through your head before discovering this statue sitting next to the coffee maker.

© Ezekiel James Boston


Claybeast_barnstormer1 Claybeast_barnstormer2
Claybeast_barnstormerback Claybeast_barnstormerfront
©2014 Claybeast
You can find more by Claybeast at:
http://www.claybeast.com
https://www.facebook.com/claybeast
http://www.artsyshark.com (Brian Somerville featured)