All posts by Ezekiel Boston

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)

Inspiration Tuesday: Grand Widow Faerlina by GENZOMAN

So far, while doing Inspiration Tuesday, I’ve only used worked that has inspired me on a personal level that felt like they were pried from my own brain (though we all know thats not possible (right? (right?))).

This week, I’m adding a piece I came across playing Hearthstone. Grand Window Faerlina proved to be a challenging match. Though her clothes are a little tight in this piece, playing against her influenced future character design of a contagonist.

hearthstone___grand_widow_faerlina_by_genzoman-d7s38jk©2014 GENZOMAN

You can find more by GENZOMAN:
http://genzoman.deviantart.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Genzoman
http://genzoman.tumblr.com/

One Horn to Rule Them All

All right! The One Horn to Rule Them All anthology is now live!

With cover art by James A. Owen, within are stories by Peter S. Beagle, Todd McCaffrey, and seventeen other talented authors (including yours truly).

From the back cover: Unicorns, with their single ivory horn, are elusive and magical creatures of myth… First sighted at the Superstars Writing Seminar, their legend has grown year after year until it could only be contained in this anthology. Nineteen storytellers… invite us into worlds both near and far… One Horn to Rule Them All is an unforgettable collection of imagination and creativity. So, saddle up, and take a ride beyond the rainbow. All profits benefit the Superstars Writing Seminar Scholarship Fund*.

(*Please see note from me at the bottom.)

Click for Kindle:
Click for Paperback:
Also available:

Full Table of Contents:
—  Introduction by Kevin J. Anderson
—  Rhubarb and Beets by Todd J. McCaffrey
—  Purple is the New Black by Jody Lynn Nye
—  A Single Spark by Mary Pletsch
—  Best of All Possible Worlds by John D. Payne
—  Korgak’s Daily Schedule by Jeanette Gonzalez
—  Dead Friends and New Horses by Sharon Dodge
—  The Godfairy by Quincy J. Allen
—  The Faerie Journal by Megan Grey
—  The Greggs Family Zoo of Odd and Marvelous Creatures by Kristin Luna
—  Menagerie Violette by Colette Black
—  The Unicorn Prince by Gama Ray Martinez
—  The Girl with the Artist’s Eyes by Nathan Barra
—  Conner Bright and the Case of the Purple Unicorn by Robert J. McCarter
—  My Hero by Mark Ryan
—  Of Unicorns and Pie by Nathan Dodge and Sharon Dodge
—  Gateway Blood by Ezekiel James Boston
—  The Monoceros by Lou J. Berger
—  The Last Dregs of Winter by Scott Eder
—  Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros by Peter S. Beagle
—  Red Roses by Todd J. McCaffrey
—  About the Authors

As mentioned, all sells through the market links presented above go toward the SWS Scholarship Fund. I donated my story to the anthology so other writers may partake in the greatness that is the Superstars Writing Seminar.

If you would like to support my efforts, please consider leaving a tip via the donation button below or purchasing a paperback edition signed by me. All purchases and tips of $5 or greater will receive a special thank you and an electronic version of my story.

 

 

Hope you enjoy the anthology as much as I did.
–EJ Boston–

Inspiration Tuesday: Temple Ruins by Jonas De Ro

Discovered another piece by Jonas De Ro. While the House of Spikes proved perfect brain candy for ABB #6 (currently being outlined), this’ll serve as inspiration for a different nearby location.

Will Ben go here? Don’t know. Maybe. Might be too soon…

#8 on the other hand… Yeah, almost a given.

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

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: The House of Spikes by Jonas De Ro

Discovered this piece by Jonas De Ro… which is precisely what I needed to see to establish the next main setting for–soon to brainstormed–ABB #6. There is so much I would like to say about this piece, but (to bottle my creative lightning) will have to let it stand on its own fantastically eerie merit.

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

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