Friday Finds: Art – J Walker Tufts

In the category of “People I Went to School With Doing Cool Stuff,” I give you an artist’s website:

I’m still exploring it myself, but so far my favorite is picket wheel.

(And — assuming, of course, that this is the same Walker I knew back in high school — dude, seriously, maybe some contact info on your website?)

An audience with the king, part two

Edited to add: Here’s the offical GMU video of Stephen King’s presentation:

* * *

The Huffington Post has posted a video clip from last Friday’s award presentation, where he reads from the work-in-progress sequel to The Shining:

(Whoever made HuffPo’s video obviously didn’t have seats as good as ours.) 😛

An audience with the king

I hadn’t been to a book signing for a long time, but last Friday night made up for it…

(Stephen King holds up the Mason Award from the Fall for the Book Festival. Photo by Alexis Glenn, respectfully ganked from the FFTB website since we couldn’t take our own. That’s a George Mason t-shirt and baseball cap under his arm.)

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Friday Finds: Video – “The Greatest Speech Ever Made”

Today’s Friday Find is a viral video set to the final speech in The Great Dictator.

(I will try to be pleased at how many good comments this received in the journal where I first saw the link, and not depressed that so many people seemed to have no idea who Charlie Chaplin was, let alone having seen this particular movie. *sigh* Only 34, and I already start to feel old. I suppose I should get used to this.)

Updates and announcements

Or, “what I did over the rest of the summer.” 🙂

July and August wound up being pretty busy for me. I moved from part-time work to full-time at the end of June, and that took a bit of adjustment to get my rhythm back as far as reshuffling my free time for writing.

In August, I got a chance to see a short story of mine adapted into graphic novel format. “The Wishing Tree” is the story of a raccoon who plays a trick on two hunting hounds–and winds up getting a surprise himself–and it was first published in the summer 2008 issue of New Fables. Earlier this year, artist Jennifer Fromm (“Nimrais”) put out a call for possible stories to adapt for her final project for college (a short graphic novel), and I was honored when she chose “The Wishing Tree.” It was only printed in a limited hardcover run, but you can see a few sample pages from it on her sketch blog. (You can also find her website here, though I can’t see it because Norton keeps blocking it as a malicious website. Not sure what’s up with that, but she also sells prints of her artwork here.)

Camp NaNoWriMo kept me busy during August, as I cranked out 50K words in 26 days on a novel called The Second Life of Bartholomew T. Lion, a story taking place in a world populated entirely by cast-off toys. The draft isn’t quite complete yet, since I’m letting it sit for a while as I figure out what’s supposed to happen. (The draft I wound up with was much rougher than I’m used to, but there was a nice freedom in that.) Bartholomew is going to take a lot of rewriting and refining before I even get to the beta-reading stage, but I’m excited about its potential. It feels like the sort of story that only I could write, and that makes it a lot of fun, even knowing all the work that’s still to come.

September brings an announcement I’ve waited several months to make: my first novel, By Sword and Star, is slated for release late this year by Anthropomorphic Dreams Publishing. It’s a medieval fantasy with a bit of a twist, in that all the characters are anthropomorphic animals–the main character, Tiran, is a bipedal unicorn. (Think Redwall, but written with more of an adult audience in mind.)

The blurb:

Prince Tiran of Silverglen may be heir to the throne of all Asteria, but he’s always felt more at home among the villagers, no matter how many lectures he gets from his father. But when the elk-lord Roden slaughters the royal family and claims the throne, only Tiran is left to avenge their deaths and take his place as the rightful king. His journey will lead him from the shadowed heart of his forest home into the treetops with the squirrel-clan of the Drays, across the western plains, and among the mysterious and deadly wolves of the Northern Reach. With his allies’ help, Tiran must become the king his people need him to be–or risk fulfilling an ancient prophecy that will spell the end of Asteria itself.

Anthro Dreams is noted for their furry fiction podcast and also for the Different Worlds, Different Skins anthologies. They’ve published/reprinted a number of my short stories in one format or another, and I’m pleased to have them putting out my first novel-length work. At this point, it’s still too early for an exact release date, but we’re hoping for November or December. Watch this space for updates.

And in other news, I have tickets to see Stephen King accept the Mason Award next Friday night, as part of this year’s Fall for the Book festival. Better yet, I wound up getting one of the randomly awarded “golden tickets” for his book signing, so I’m pretty excited about that. 😀

Next month, I’ll start planning for NaNoWriMo in November. I’d like to get another book’s first draft knocked out before I close out the year and go back to short stories/novellas for a while. I’m also planning to get another Smashwords release out in the next several months, but we’ll see how it goes. There’s always something to work on, at least. I never have to worry about running out of ideas. 🙂

Friday Finds: Music – “The Happy Song” by Fox Amoore

Silly, catchy, all-around fun. I recommend playing it fairly loud. 🙂

The artist’s website can be found here. (I should probably note, though, that “The Happy Song” is pretty different from his usual work, which tends toward cinematic-feeling orchestral/new age instrumentals.)

Five years today…

Still miss you. Still think of you every time I carefully trap a spider under a cup and take it outside instead of killing it, every time I keep a watchful eye on a turtle crossing our driveway to make sure it’s not heading toward the road, every time I see or hear someone cringing back from some reptile in the pet store or on TV, when I can only see how beautiful the creature is.

And when I’ve moved a turtle off the road, or massaged a medicine-soaked cotton ball into a stray cat’s ears, or surprised a deer into staring at me when I open the door to bring in the mail, I’ve always found myself saying the same words, and I realize they’re yours.

You’re all right, softly, soothingly, you’re all right.

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Friday Finds: Four poems

This week’s finds are poems. I used to read a lot more poetry than I do now (and certainly wrote much more of it than I do now), but these really caught my attention and made me feel they were worth sharing.

The first two were posted by readers to the greatpoets community on LiveJournal:

“Library,” by Albert Goldbarth:

“Changeling” by Loren Eiseley:

Incidentally, the DW community [community profile] poetry also has a lot of good stuff posted that’s worth checking out. Here are two that were posted there:

“How to Read a Poem: A Beginner’s Manual,” by Pamela Spiro Wagner:

“Ravens,” by Theodora Goss: