Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Sawmill's Hope Kickstarter. At last!

The Kickstarter has come!

Please click over there and have a look, even if for nothing more than morbid curiosity.

To each and all of you who have offered advice along this way, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Hopefully this experience will result in me being able to return the favor! Thank you especially to Alex C and his crew who put together the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I learned so much from this site and from sites that it mentions!

Here's the vid... not quite as funny as the last one but more informative in my opinion.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cover Reveal and An Excerpt from A Sawmill's Hope!

So it's almost Kickstarter O' clock. And I've been working like a ... something that works... a lot. I'm sorry. I haven't had much sleep. (is it bad that I already had a label for 'sleep deprived'?)
I was up all night making a (hopefully) far more betterer video than last time

So now, I bring you.....

And here are the first two pages, for your eye's balls pleasures -

A Bow and a Book

It was dumping rain, churning leaves like an unending applause. Darke’s hair stuck to his cheeks, curled into his ears, ran down his forehead and tickled the bridge of his nose. But the rain had washed his scent away long ago. No elk would know he approached.

He crept past moss capped rocks, trying not to lose his step on soggy pine straw. Not trying hard enough. He climbed to his feet once more and collected his pine arrow. His legs were raw from rubbing against soaked wool. But his steps went unheard.

If he was careful, he could get within spitting distance of an elk before being noticed. He’d only had this opportunity twice. The first time was when he’d found out what his words could do. The second time he’d gotten too brave... No good in thinking about that now.

A rumbling grunt came from ahead. Darke stopped, slowed his breath. A buck probably, and not too heavy. Rut began within the week. Hunters with any sense wouldn’t travel alone in the forest then. But Darke wasn’t half as clumsy as them, nor as slow.

Rain thumped against Darke’s head, trying to blind him, almost succeeding. There was the red buck, twenty paces down the hill. Its sleek antlers reflected the grey clouds. Steam vented from its nostrils. Darke tucked himself behind a tall stone. He readied his arrow and pulled in a shaking breath, easing around the stone. He could easily end the elk’s life with this fletched arrow. Even without sharpened steel or stone on the end. From where he crouched he could put the arrow through its chest to splinter on its shoulder blade then shred the arteries above its heart. The beast would die before it hit the ground. It wouldn’t be the first.

But Darke didn’t want it dead. Not yet. He wanted to talk to it. He eased the string’s tension. The elk lowered its head to a pebbly spring. Darke slid over the rock, stepped forward and stopped. He was so close he could smell its fur. He couldn’t hear the rain anymore, only the pounding of his heart. He needed to clear his throat. Of all times! He tried doing it silently. The elk jerked to attention, shoulders tensing. Darke’s breath snagged in his throat. The elk’s eyes were wide, wild. They found Darke. If not for the steam from its nose, the elk had become a statue, had forgotten all but Darke. No point in waiting…

“Relax,” Darke said. He forced it out loudly, not like last time.

The elk cocked its head, its ears dropping. Its hazel eyes were fixed on him but tension had rinsed away.

It worked! Now what? The elk stepped backward.

“Stop!” Darke said. It stopped. Darke wanted to jump and clap. Instead he stepped forward, moving his hand beneath the elk’s vaporous breath. The elk stomped. Darke froze. It grunted, like a saw blade dragged over a dry stump. Darke tried to back up but thumped against the tall stone. The elk stomped again, shoulder muscles rippling like snakes beneath its coat. Darke’s tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth. But he had to say something. “Um… Stop?”

The elk charged. Thumping hooves brought it the distance before Darke could leap aside. At least he got his knife in his hand. The antlers came at him. He fell flat, scrambled, swinging the dagger as he went. It met something, and not stone. Antlers clattered into the rock. Darke rolled over. The elk reared, groaning, kicking the air. A red stripe widened at its chest. So much for talking... Darke slammed into the beast, punching his blade deep, gripping at fur and limbs with his free hand. The elk bit his shoulder, hard. Darke’s knees shook and he gasped, expecting his arm to come loose. He stabbed again, this time higher. It caught the beast in the throat. He raked downward. The elk shivered. A hoof caught Darke’s chin. Trees spun around him and he was on his back. His knife was gone. He rolled and dragged himself with fistfuls of soggy needles, no idea which way he was going. The beast thrashed about somewhere nearby. Darke spat out a shard of tooth. His vision settled. Pain ran from his jaw to his neck, making his stomach jitter.

The elk was flat on the ground, chest pumping weakly. Darke pushed his back against a tree. In time the elk stopped. Darke was afraid to move. His shoulder felt like he’d been snatched up by moonstone tongs. The ache in his jaw encompassed his eyes. He poked a finger in his mouth, searched for the broken tooth. Not in front. At least there’s that. He exhaled and let the rain wash over him. A smile crept over his face. What kind of idiot puts up his bow to knife an elk?

But even as he sat crumpled in pain, he knew he’d try again. The next chance he got, he’d try it. Until he had no more bones to bruise and no more teeth to spit out. Until he figured out why. When he spoke to his prey, why did it listen?

 Thanks for coming by my blog and enduring through the credits to find this easter-egg of a thanks! The Kickstarter moderators are moderating my Kickstarter submission as we *speak. My next post will announce it's arrival from the digital stork of the interspiderweb! Have an awesome Saturday! I'm going to watch (and hopefully stay awake through) Catching Fire!

*not that we're speaking

Friday, November 15, 2013

Kickstarter 2013! - The video was supposed to be the easy part!!


The video is not the easy part.

I wrote a script. Cleaned it up. Typed it and printed it out. Rehearsed it. Thought of an elaborate, high-production movie... Scouted for locations... I even donned my good luck necklace from the Dominican Republic! I even combed my beard!!

Here's the only salvageable bits of my labor:

I'm in day three of trying to film this video. And it's finally occurred to me that scripts are just not my thing. And neither is video making.

So I'm just going to draw and shoot. It can't turn out worse than what I've done so far.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Kickstarter 2013 - Meet the Artist!

Hey folks.

I can't describe how stoked I am about this. I've been holding back introducing him and I honestly don't know why. I guess maybe because it seems too good to be true.

So here's the skinny - In middle school my art teacher's name was Mr. Bennett. Yes, he has a first name. No, I'm not telling. Just know it's a good one. So I saw him on Facebook and I friended him (because that's a verb). Anyone who teaches art is a cool mofo as far as I'm concerned. Plus, unlike a lot of Fabo, he has real stuff to say.

One day, while procrastinating on the ol' Farcebark, I see a post by Mr. Bennett on a piece of fantasy art. I follow the art to the artist, Tracy Flynn. And I dig his stuff. Because it's awesome. So I says to him, I says, "Maybe one day I proposition you for fantasy art." And he says, "Do it."

At the time I didn't have a plan, only free-floating desires... obscured by time... too murky to make out in any clear detail. But, as some of you know, recently my plan solidified... Like the tip of some great, sunken ship, rising to clarity from clouds of shimmering algae as the cinder block at my ankle drags me toward my inevitable destiny. Which is - self publish, do a Kickstarter.

Why David, wtf are you trying to say?

I thought you'd never ask.

Tracy Flynn has agreed to come on board as the illustrator for my (as yet, title-less) novel. He's agreed to sketch 20+ illustrations, one per chapter. This will be funded by the Kickstarter that I plan to launch in the next sixteen days. And if the Kickstarter fails, all is not lost. This train is moving too quickly to be stopped.

I'd like to give you a sample tasting... just the tip for now.

Darke, stalking an elk
When I gave Tracy the manuscript to consider taking the job, he said he was motivated to sketch from page one. I can think of no greater compliment, no clearer sign.

Darke's horse Flurry. Named after a winter storm.
Vedorant Goblins... You can tell by the smell. At least they aren't Redcaps.
Tahkaan picked an ill-advised moment to man-up. What's to keep that grindbear from clacking him to ribbons?

Vodnik ferrying the group over the Trevet river. What a miserable place to get seasick...

And my personal favorite thus far... As if validation was still necessary.

The fishman squatted on one of the taller rocks, busying himself with a stone dowel and a carved wooden bowl. Green sprouts jiggled on the bowl’s edge, as if somehow it still held life.

You can see why I'm stoked. What Tracy's pictures add to this story is beyond measure. Despite that most of these are still in their caterpillar stage, they've already taken me back to when I was a kid, mesmerized by artwork of other worlds. Only now it's my world. And it's coming alive.

Thank you for stopping by and having a look. Go to Tracy's art page on Facebook. It is a diamond in the rough, indeed.

Love you guys. Can't wait to share this with you.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG November 2013

IWSG, brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh, occurs once a month and exists for writers to voice their insecurities and offer advice. The official website, has been a priceless commodity in my studying and research as of late. I encourage any one interested in writing to have a look!

I've chosen to self publish. This isn't the blog where I go into a ton of detail as to why. This is also not the blog where I talk about the electronic version of the book. For the sake of IWSG, there's one subject that has been plaguing me above all in my mad race to get the Kickstarter going for my book.

And that is - Who's doing the printing, Lightning Source or CreateSpace?

Why CreateSpace?

Amazon owns them. And there's no better way of having VIP service on Amazon (where lots of books are sold, last I checked) than by befriending their lil cousin CreateSpace. The setup fee is minimal, proof copy is like five bucks, and there's no exclusivity to their contract. Besides, Lightning Source is going to push me off onto their gimpy brother IngramSpark, who specializes in small publishers, moderates trade discount to 55%, and has NO visible contact information anywhere on their website!

So, easy choice, right? Then why even consider Lightning Source.

(And don't everyone attack me at once for regurgitating the consensus of the world wide web)

Quality. I can't tell you how many websites I've traveled looking for an answer. Dozens. Maybe hundreds. And the vast majority sing praises of Lightning Source's superior print quality over every other service. I wouldn't know personally, I've never seen examples of their work. I can only consider the source.
But even if everyone is wrong about their quality, I want a hardcover of my book to exist. CreateSpace won't do it. And this is something about which I will not compromise.

So, injure my print-book Amazon exposure, climb in bed with a clumsy toddler company, and sacrifice personal profit just to own the perfect copy of my book?

To answer that I need to determine my objective...

- I want to bring Silexare to life, one story at a time, consistently achieving the very highest quality so that readers might find unqualified delight, despite any costs or compromises to my financial gain.