Good question, Bird Boy.
NOTE: These are work-in-progress colors from Vero. I should be getting a more finished pass later tonight.
This was another great month over at the Patreon page! We added another 50 Patrons and support increased from $5900/month to almost $6100/month! This means we’re steadily moving back again towards me breaking even after paying my artists, rent, etc., and it again shows that we have the most amazing readers in the world here. You all are superheroes!
And, of course, I’m always looking for ways to show my gratitude to those who are able to support us in this way. So here were the special Patreon rewards for June:
(Click on the image for a full description.)
$5+ Patrons (even brand new ones!) can download all of these full-color pin-up immediately.
Also, as you know, for a variety of reasons, I don’t want to leave NSFW images up for too long on Patreon. So, I’ve started sunsetting some previously posted NSFW images by removing their links.
For June, this will be your last chance to download the NSFW Kyle and The Annihilator Pairing Pin-up by AKE, which $5+ Patrons can find here. After July 10th, I’ll be removing the links to the NSFW art for that. So, if you want to see Kyle and The Annihilator in this hot pairing pin-up, now’s the time!
And $10+ Patrons will be sent a high-res version of all of these wallpapers (including AKE’s The Annihilator pin-up) with over double the resolution on July 10th!
There are lots of great benefits to being a Patron (you can see them all here along with an explanation of what the heck Patreon is), and you’d really be helping me out if you became one too. If you’re enjoying our work here and would like to see it continue (and would like to get access to all kinds of special benefits),
So! Looks like Flyboy is finally earning a bit of respect from Fluke—in a very Fluke way, of course. Nice to see these boys all getting along so well.
But now the question has been asked: how have Kyle and Spooky been getting on?
Tune in this Saturday to find out! Hope to see you there!
- Yeah. And the thing is, we already know from the way Flyboy ... by Saxon_Brenton
- Mitch aspires to be Team Leader one day? ^_^ by Dokidokibaka
- Light I love Mitch. ^_^ I want his lawyer for the team. by Dokidokibaka
- It makes sense to me that his folks would be rich – and it's ... by Pietro7
- The snark is lovely in this. Only true friends can mock each ... by Nate
- Actually I think that coming out was a very good thing for ... by ComicBookGoddess
- I love the humor of this page. Good writing. by davefragments
- Oh Flyboy, you are such a wheeler-dealer. by Saxon_Brenton
So I worked a half-day from home yesterday and saw a physio, and I'm working from home again today because it's still twinging a little.
Down side: all the testing and over-the-shoulder help I could use right now is not available. And there's quite a lot of it.
Up side: I can pick up my Sydney Transport card which I dropped on a bus the other week and which someone kindly picked up and turned in.
- Mutants and Masterminds
- Wraith: The Oblivion
- Aeon limited edition
- Star Wars Core Rulebook (dhampyresa, do you want this? I'm happy to send it to you--it's Wizards of the Coast's d20 system)
- Mage: The Ascension (we may already have this BUT I DON'T CARE)
- Changeling Storyteller's Guide (now I just have to find the core book for Changeling)
- Wraith Player's Guide
- Battlefleet Gothic 2002 Annual (I looooooooove the aesthetic of the Battlefleet Gothic miniatures and am sorry I only own one, which is still unassembled in its blister pack)
- Earthdawn (I used to own this before my stepmother threw it out)
- Ars Magica (ditto)
- and a stray issue of Playboy July 1995 because it was sitting there lonely and I am easily amused
PLEASE, VAN, CONTINUE ACQUIRING AND SELLING USED RPGs. I WILL COME BUY THEM!!!
This is like Christmas.
⌈ Secret Post #3828 ⌋
Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.
( More! )
Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 31 secrets from Secret Submission Post #548.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
Since then I have made a point of reading books on game design when I can find them, and the occasional article on the web. While I have released a couple of small interactive fiction games (IFs) and the narrative game Winterstrike (Failbetter Games), I don't really consider myself a game designer. It's more in the nature of something I do on the side because I find it illuminating to consider alternate ways to approaching narrative; I think primarily as a writer of static fiction. And for the purposes of the hexarchate, it's research because I decided that one of the factions (the Shuos) abuses game design techniques in their pedagogy, and one of the characters (Jedao) is a gamer.
The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design, ed. Mike Selinker, is a collection of essays by various designers. I was originally going to read the book through and do a report on the book overall, but I liked the essays enough to do individual reports on some of them. ( cut for length )
Thank you to the person who donated this book!
I slept badly last night. I never used the c-PAP at all because it seemed unwise with reflux and with me getting up repeatedly during the first couple of hours. I woke up with the sneezing and runny nose again, so apparently the c-PAP doesn't relate to that. Damned if I have any clue what's going on.
I guess I'll keep the extra appointment I have with my doctor next month (I was supposed to cancel it in favor of the scheduled follow up in August, but I held onto it in case something came up). My chances of getting in to see her any earlier are almost zero. I didn't want to keep that appointment because it Thursday during Art Fair. That week is pretty much the worst time to go to UHS all year long as all the buses will be both detoured and packed. My dentist appointment, in the same general area, is the Monday of that week, but that should be before the detours start. Official Art Fair is usually Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with set up on Wednesday.
The technician came today to do the tune up on the air conditioner. He says it all looks good (which isn't surprising given that the unit is only two or three years old). The woman from their office who called to let me know that he was on his way kind of freaked me out because she insisted that all of our windows had to be closed in order for him to work. Scott declined to shut the windows last night because the predicted high for today was 73F, and I can't shut most of the dratted things on my own (and Cordelia was still asleep). She assured me that the technician could close them for me. He was puzzled as to why she'd think it would be necessary. He said that that requirement is for when it's actually cold outside. That is, if the windows are open and it's 50F outside, it's kind of hard to get the AC to do anything so that he can see how it's working.
Anyway, that's done until the furnace tune up in the fall. We get the same guy each time, and I like him.
I've gotten the trash out. I'm holding out on the recycling in hopes that I can break down some of the boxes in the basement and get rid of them. I like keeping a few boxes in case of wanting to send a package, but we've probably got thirty Amazon boxes down there. We don't need that many, and I know there's room in the bin for at least some of them to go.
I only know all this because she asked me to look into him and make sure it wasn’t a scam, and while it’s not a scam it’s also fucking uncanny how similar he and I are – not just physical appearance but hobbies and personality (as much as you can get personality from a facebook and a blog). He’s ten years older than me, but otherwise we’re pretty similar.
I emailed her like “I think this guy’s on the level, he’s just looking for a missing piece of his family” and had to stifle a strong urge to be like “Also I want to hang out with him, so be nice.”
I hope Mum likes him, I want to be his Facebook Friend.
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2thdaPQ
How often is the thing that brings a story to life a question of grammar? And yet, I know exactly what Linda Nagata means. Here she is, explaining how verb tenses turned out to be the key:
If there ever was one bright spark, one bit of insight, one unexpected plot twist that brought The Last Good Man to life, I don’t remember it. What I do remember was how flat and uninteresting the manuscript felt to me in the earliest days.
This wasn’t an unusual situation for me. Beginnings are hard and it can take time to work out a tone and style that feels right. So I kept pushing forward, telling myself that if I kept going, the essential spark that every novel needs would eventually ignite.
It didn’t happen. Not for over 30,000 hard-fought words. Sure, the story was advancing but I wasn’t happy with the tone or with the way it was being told—and I didn’t know why.
I’d done my preliminary work—a lot of preliminary work. I’d been tossing ideas into the literary stew pot for months, revising my synopsis again and again. This was a very near-future story centered on a small private military company—contract soldiers of the sort hired by corporations, NGOs, and the US government. These were “white hat” mercenaries, choosy about their clients, working only for the good guys, and though they were a small force, that force was amplified by the autonomous robotic weaponry they could deploy. And I had an unusual protagonist in True Brighton.
Middle-aged women are not generally considered cool enough to serve as the lead in a techno-thriller, but I wanted to give it a shot—I wanted the challenge—so I made True forty-nine years old, a retired US Army veteran and mother of three who is still fit, strong, and agile enough to qualify for field missions.
All the pieces seemed right. For months I’d sensed the potential in this story, but still somehow the spark was missing.
Up to this point I’d been writing in third person, past tense. Then—30,000 words in and on the verge of despair—I chanced to read a novel written in third person, present tense and I was intrigued. Could I write The Last Good Man in third person present?
Present tense is commonly used with first person, where the narrator relates the story using “I” or “we.” I’d done a whole trilogy in first-person present. But I’d never written in third-person present. Inspired by the novel I was reading, I decided to try it.
And I liked the energy of it! It was just a technical change, but at last the tone of the story felt right. I continued to move ahead, writing additional pages every day in present tense, and at the end of the day I would revise my past work, gradually shifting it from past tense to present, adding detail as I did.
I was far, far happier with the feel of the story. The change in tense had given it the spark it needed—or maybe it had given me the spark I needed. Whichever it was, I never considered shifting back.
From the cover copy:
Scarred by war. In pursuit of truth.
Army veteran True Brighton left the service when the development of robotic helicopters made her training as a pilot obsolete. Now she works at Requisite Operations, a private military company established by friend and former Special Ops soldier Lincoln Han. ReqOp has embraced the new technologies. Robotics, big data, and artificial intelligence are all tools used to augment the skills of veteran warfighters-for-hire. But the tragedy of war is still measured in human casualties, and when True makes a chance discovery during a rescue mission, old wounds are ripped open. She’s left questioning what she knows of the past, and resolves to pursue the truth, whatever the cost.
“…a thrilling novel that lays bare the imminent future of warfare.” —Publishers Weekly starred review
Linda is a Nebula and Locus-award-winning writer, best known for her high-tech science fiction, including the Red trilogy, a series of near-future military thrillers. The first book in the trilogy, The Red: First Light, was a Nebula and John W. Campbell Memorial-award finalist, and named as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2015. Her short fiction has appeared in Analog, Asimov’s, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Lightspeed, Nightmare, and several anthologies.
Linda has lived most of her life in Hawaii, where she’s been a writer, a mom, a programmer of database-driven websites, and an independent publisher. She lives with her husband in their long-time home on the island of Maui.
"Why Do So Few Hollywood Movies Take Place During WWI?" - Pacific Standard (a very big deal!!)
Going to the movies became a ubiquitous means of participating in patriotic culture closer to World War II. The Great Depression halted most memorial-building in its tracks, as memorials required huge local investments. In the 1910s, when movie palaces were still new, they became sites of moral panic for civic and community leaders concerned about sexual looseness and the corruption of American youth, even as only about one-third of the total population attended each week. However, by the 1920s, that number rose to half, and, by the 1930s, two-thirds of Americans took weekly trips to the movies. During WWII, studios supplied hundreds of fictional films torn from the headlines.There's so much more! I got to talk to some amazing people! My job doesn't pay bupkis but the work can be so good!! (And if you feel inclined to share, you can credit me at ejbergdahl.)
Simple, hagiographic narratives about the war predominated. In titles like So Proudly We Hail! (1943), Hell Is for Heroes (1962), and Saving Private Ryan (1999), WWII was "the good war," waged by the U.S. to crush fascism and imperialism. Hollywood did work closely with the War Department to produce pro-war documentaries during the war. But, historically, even films that are not government-funded, or those that have questioned American wars, have largely refused to condemn those who fight it. It is perhaps easier for film studios to sell a vision of Americans as principled heroes fending off all-threatening evil, rather than naïve young men fighting in a conflict of ambiguous nobility.
This month's download is an "Introduction to Mixed Media, with Dan dos Santos" and is available to download right now!
In this 3 hour demonstration, Dan dos Santos discusses and shows how to implement a wide variety of mediums, including pencil, acrylic, gouache, colored pencil, markers, fluid acrylics, airbrush and oil paints... all in a single painting.
Want this video? There are two ways to get it...
Anybody who is currently a $10+ Muddy Colors Patron, or signs up at the $10 donation level before the end of June, will receive this video free with their donation! You can sign-up for our Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/muddycolors
Or, if Patreon isn't really your thing, we get it. You can still purchase this download through our Gumroad store at the regular retail price of $20 right here: http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/p/store.
Be sure to check out the trailer below to get a taste of what's in store for you:
|Detail of Final Painting, "Jean Grey" by Dan dos Santos|
Also, new to our Gumroad store is Greg Ruth's recent demo "A Portrait in Pencil". You can find this video, and all of our other instructional videos, in our Muddy Colors Video Shop: http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/p/store.