Posts

Map Demo

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I recently upgraded my Campaign Cartographer 3 software to CC3+, and I've been having quite a bit of fun experimenting with the new features. In case you've never heard of CC3, it's basically a brilliant piece of mapping software used for creating fantasy maps for tabletop games, posters, and even those wonderful maps one might find at the beginning of their favorite epic fantasy novel.

I've also been toying around with the idea of making a fantasy GIS (Geographic Information System) that one could use to pan and zoom around their favorite fictional locale. There are a few things out there that are capable of doing this in one way or another, including a Wordpress plugin called Mapplic, but I'm more of a visual person, so I settled on trying to make something using HTML5. The really cool thing is you can use another great piece of software called Hype that will allow you to make animations and presentations, and embed them in a webpage.

So here's a video I made…

Vellum 2.0 review

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Vellum 2.0, create beautiful books.
If you’re an indie author looking to self publish your own books, I think you owe it to yourself to download and try out Vellum 2.0. It just might become your new favorite tool in your writer’s toolbox. First, what is Vellum 2.0? Vellum is a WYSIWYG interior formatter for ebooks and now print books. It allows you to import your finished manuscript and style it using built in themes that can be used as they are, or mixed and matched, all in real time. If you make an edit to your manuscript, or change a chapter title, you see the revision automatically updated in the preview window using the currently selected template. I’ll go into more detail on how it all works later, but first I’ll explain why I decided to use Vellum.
Like many of you (I suspect), I use Scrivener to organize my writing and to craft my manuscript, and for those tasks, there are no finer software choices available (in my opinion). However, when it comes time to compile in Scrivener an…

Trapper's Glen

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Will he find her in the glen, or will he find something else there, something dark and primal? 
Old man Tallup might know, but he mostly speaks in riddles and myth, not the kind of language that private detective Charlie Marsh is used to.



“How can you be sure what is real and what is not? Are you sure coyote’s don’t talk in the real world?”  The old man took a long, slow drag on his cigarette. “Maybe they’re just silent in your dreams.”
Charlie waved away an errant ring of smoke. “I’m not sure of anything lately.”
“Don’t go tying yourself in knots now, Mr. Marsh. Some say I’m just full of shit.” 
“You wanna hear a story, Charlie?”
“Is it a true story?”
“Some say it is, some don’t.”
“What’s it about?”
“This place. The things that watch us from the edges of the forest.”
“What things?”
The old man ignored his question, blowing a few more smoke rings into the night air. “Some time ago when the stars could still be seen in every direction, and this place wasn’t on a map, a white man came to the glen.…

First two pages from the graphic novel

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Manga style characters from my fantasy novel

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Here are some characters you may know if you've read my fantasy serial...


I've been having a lot of fun drawing these characters in Manga style in my new illustration software, Clip Studio Paint. I'm thinking about making a graphic novel with these characters once I've created some detailed character sheets.
Anyway, let me know what you think.

Some Övrigmark Art

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Here's a picture of the castle at Kungensmark that I created using a technique similar to cutting and arranging construction paper to form shapes and objects. It's all digital of course, but it was pretty time consuming...fun, but time consuming.

I think I'm going to try and make a few more that depict major scenes from Beyond the Gates of Övrigmark.

The whole process has inspired me to get back to work on rewriting the serial so that I can turn it into a novel. I have plans for a completely new ending. Actually the last quarter of the story will be almost entirely new.
Anyway, let me know what you think of the castle. I think I'm going to work on a scene featuring Astrid next.

Prologue

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I don't usually like prologues, but I felt I needed a brief one for The Eyes of Arcadia. Here's the first draft...


Earth, the Seventh Colony. Before recorded time.
The silver ship dropped from orbit and descended through the little blue planet’s atmosphere. A sequence of instructions, loaded into the onboard computer centuries before, triggered one after the other in conjunction with live readings from the surface. While the first of the seven inhabitants stirred in her pod at the simulated light of predawn, the computer switched to audible alert mode, speaking her first ethereal words aloud since their departure from Arcadia.
Landing site acquired and locked in. Adjusting thermals. Reverse thrust in three…two…one. Surface oxygen levels in target range, depressurizing cabin, filtering in outside air. 
Lowering landing gear, prepare for touchdown in three…two…one.
The ship set down on a rocky plateau near the tallest peak it could detect on its initial scan of the planet. Levelers …