I’m declaring this a painting week for my blog. You’ll still get your free fiction on Friday, but the first two posts of the week I’d like to be for a couple of my recent ACEO paintings.
ACEO, for those of you who don’t know, stands for Artist Cards Editions and Originals. They measure 2.5″ x 3.5″ – the size of a baseball trading card. Many people collect ACEO’s as a means of getting original art by artists whose work they enjoy, but may not have a place to put larger works of art or the funds to buy the bigger pieces.
I’ve been painting ACEO’s since 2006. In my catalogue of images, I have 343 ACEO’s completed, but I do have some more that I haven’t finished logging yet, so the number is probably closer to 350. This doesn’t even count the miniature paintings I’ve done as bookmarks — this is just the traditional ACEO sizes.
I don’t do prints of my ACEO’s. I know many artists who do, but I’ve chosen to keep my small work like this as all originals. Now, for my larger art, I do provide that in the ACEO size, but there are no reproductions of these little artworks.
Well, that’s a bit about my ACEO’s, so let’s take a look at some. Here’s a newer one freshly listed on Etsy and Zibbet.
The station needed a lot of work. Mouse had been right about it needing a lot of upkeep. Jadz fell into the easy rhythm of pulling maintenance records for each area of the station and just getting to work.
“Have you eaten anything today?” became a frequent question from Mouse, who often showed up with a wrapped sandwich in hand which she tossed at Jadz with a wink. “Don’t stay too much passed your shift.”
That nifty little progress bar which I added a couple weeks ago has been updated with new items.
It always seems like it is when I wake up in the morning that I have really good ideas. I do think a section of my brain just works on things all night long and gives me really strange dreams to keep the rest of my brain entertained.
“How many people are here now?” Jadz thought this might be a good time to change the subject.
“The station is meant to be run with minimal crew since it would be mostly astronomers. There’s usually one United officer here, and they generally sleep a lot, along with a communications person to help run things. Right now, we’ve got seven astronomers, me, and you.”
“Does that make you the communications officer?”
“You got it. See how I did that? I communicated my position to you without actually telling you in words.” She wiggled her eyebrows and grinned. “I’m good.”
“I see that.” Jadz took a moment to enjoy the revelry of a new friend before putting her hands on her hips trying to take the same commanding stance her father had for many years. “But I don’t want my story being communicated to all the astronomers here.”
Mouse overlapped her hands on her heart and fell backwards on the bed. “Oh, you wound me!”
“I’d rather have them keep their eyes on the stars rather than me.”
“Oh, see? You’re sharp. Yeah, you’re going to do just fine here.” Mouse sat up, then stood. “Well, I guess there’s nothing left for me to do here. I’m sure you want to unpack, settle in, and explore the three centimeters of space we have here. Don’t worry, I think I can find my way out.”
Jadz watched Mouse as she started to leave and found herself wishing the other woman wouldn’t leave. It was nice to have someone to talk to. “Hey, Mouse, he was a commander.”
Mouse opened the door before turning. “See? I knew it. You’ll tell me more. I’m good at communicating.”
After Mouse had stepped backwards out into the corridor and shut the door, Jadz found herself smiling. This place might be at the end of the universe, but it was exactly where she needed to be.
A short while ago, I finished reading this combo book which had The Magicians of Capona and Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones. I had purchased the audio of Magicians of Caprona and tried to listen to it on a trip, but I had to stop because after awhile, all the Italian names started to blend together and nearly put me to sleep on the road. I had to stop listening. I was afraid that reading the book would be as monotonous and I avoided it for a couple of years. But, I am such a Diana Wynne Jones fan that I just had to have another book to read.
Magicians of Caprona wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t what I was expecting either. In the end, I was really just kind of “meh” about it.
At least it didn’t take long as Castle in the Air.
I was ready to move onto Witch Week.
I’m going to start by saying that I really dislike it when writers hop from one character’s head to another. Witch Week continuously changes which character’s point of view we are seeing the story from. At first, it really bugged me because I didn’t see a point in it. Then I started to get into the swing of it and it wasn’t bad. When I started reading the next book in the series, Conrad’s Fate, I developed a theory that maybe she was doing all this on purpose in order to practice as a writer. Witch Week and Conrad’s Fate are two different points of view all together, Witch Week being third person omnipotent and Conrad’s Fate being first person. I really think now that she was trying to see if “head hopping” could be done effectively. I have seen so many authors claim that their head-hopping shifts were actually the omnipotent point of view, to which I scoff because it isn’t. It is merely a book told from two, three, or four character’s points of view. Witch Week is true omnipotent.
It’s taking me sitting here writing out some of my thoughts to really reflect on the story and what a truly amazing job she did with this. I will have to go back to it again and study this more. I might have to claim that this is the first time I’ve seen true omnipotent point of view done well.
Watch out. The last time I saw a writer attempt something I felt was outlandish (first person, present tense), I ended up writing the Loki series because I wanted to try my hand at it. That was because of Susan Ee’s Angelfall. #AffiliateLinks
In finishing Witch Week, I discovered what Magicians of Caprona was missing and it had to do with the ending. in Magicians of Caprona, the characters of the story, I feel, do very little to save the day. I won’t spoil it, and maybe I was reading fast to get through the story, but I just don’t feel like it had a satisfactory ending. Witch Week on the other hand, was ended by the main characters of the story realizing what needed to happen and carrying it out.
Overall, I’d say that both stories are worth the read. Okay, so far the whole Chrestomanci series is worth the read.
Just a reminder that some of my links may be affiliate links, meaning that if you click on them and then go shopping (even if its for more than the item you that took you to the store), I may be rewarded with some small compensation- like a tip. This doesn’t effect your price, but is paid for by the store you’re shopping on. And if you do use my affiliate links, thank you. I appreciate your support.
A quick note about my free fiction: this is raw draft with little editing. I don’t know where the story is going, or if it’ll even get completed on the blog. But it’s fun to do.
The clips from this story stay up for a limited time and then they will turn back into a pumpkin.
Let’s proceed, shall we?
Deep Space Omega (#3)
by Dawn Blair
Pulling her legs up to sit cross-legged, Mouse settled in to be more at home here than Jadz felt she was doing in trying to put her scant belongings away. It didn’t help that she had an observer.
“So, tell me about that last boyfriend, the one you’re running from.”
“I’m not running,” Jadz lied. “Look, my mom always had two pieces of advice for me: don’t pick in high school, and don’t pick on a starship. She said both ponds of choices were far too small to find true love in considering how vast the universe was.”
“And I take it that you didn’t listen.”
“No, I wish I had though.”
“So who’d you pick in high school?” Mouse leaned forward with a wide, eager grin on her face.
“Tsk, no one. I’d been with most of those kids since elementary school, preschool days for some. My parents never got transferred. I remember watching some of my classmates eat paste or Tersilian worms, and not always separately.”
Mouse blenched, her face pulling like she might vomit at the thought.
“Let’s not forget the huffing of scented markers. There was this one kid, Lalmin… he stuck two, one in each nostril, up his nose and kept them there until he passed out. I was one of the lucky ones that got to help roll him to the infirmary. Yeah, not the people I wanted to date. I knew way too much.”
Mouse shook her head, but it was in total agreeance with what Jadz was saying. In that moment, Jadz decided she liked Mouse, even if the girl was a bit inquisitive.
“That brings us to,” Mouse said, holding onto her legs and rocking slightly back and forth, “who you picked on the starship, if you didn’t pick in high school.”
“Yeah, that doesn’t matter. He was just a guy.” Jadz shrugged.
“Just a guy doesn’t send you fleeing all the way out here. No, you had to get away. Was this before your first transfer, or why you left your second posting?”
“First,” Jadz said, not really sure why she was answering these questions at all. Did she really want to talk about it?
“So what was his name?”
Jadz sighed. “Yeah, I really don’t want to talk about him.”
“Hmmm, ranking officer, huh?”
Jadz wasn’t thrilled that Mouse could obviously read the situation like a book. Did she have mind reading powers or maybe it was in Jadz file.
Mouse laughed. “This is a small space startion, but if you think your story of unique, think again. That lug who was just in here, I’m married to him. I’d rather be out exploring space, but what can I say? I do have a thing for astronomers. He loves it out here. Most people don’t stay long; they get cabin fever. I’ve met a lot of people and heard a lot of stories. In the universe over, love messes people up.”
One question I am frequently asked is: How much longer until such-and-such book is out?
That’s always a hard question to answer.
However, in my roaming this week I discovered progress bars on another author’s website in regards to where the books were at. My first question was, “How did he do that?” immediately after thinking, “Well, that’s bloody awesome!” My answer came up fast with a Google search. How did I ever live without Google?
Then, it was a matter of changing a few things to get it to adapt to my blog, but BOOM! Now you have a progress bar off the right.
You should see it there near the top. So, if you are ever in doubt of where a certain book is, check here. If you don’t see the one you’re looking for, drop me a line and I will add it. For right now, I’ve only included the ones I think are what most people are waiting for.
Where did I find this cool information so that you don’t have to go looking for it later? (This is also a reminder for myself so I know!)
I hope you enjoy watching the progress changes for your favorite books/series in the future. I know it will inspire me to keep working on them so I can change the bars (except maybe for those times when I’ve gone from writing (where I’ve reached 100%) to editing (starting over at 0%), but that is the nature of the beast.