Saturday, August 20, 2016

Hybrid Space

Hybrid Space is coming!!! And this is the cover!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hybrid Space is my story about human/animal hybrids who escape from a ship called the Empress, run by the powerful and mysterious corporation, T-Tech.

Pretty bird. This here's an oil pastel drawing that I did, of the escape ship, The Canary, ages ago.

Anyway, I hope you love this story as much as I do. It was sure fun to write.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Can't Sleep

So, it appears that I can't sleep - or rather, I don't want to, just yet. You see, I have it on my "to do" list, that updating my blog after a long hiatus is something that I set out to do. I've been rebuilding my online writing presence. I have quit from my toxic state job, working for a corrupt organization, and will be starting my writing career back up. I'm in the process of editing Betrayer, the third book in the Fallenwood series. Meanwhile, I've got a VERY rough draft of Retribution on my computer, and a copy of Hybrid Space, my sci-fi/comedy that needs editing. I've got a couple other older works that I'll be editing/polishing up, including a collection of poems and a short shifter story that I wrote with my best friend Colleen. Then there's the short story Trial By Fire, originally published by Secret Cravings, which I'll also be trying to find a new publisher for. Or perhaps I'll write some other stories to go with it, and release it either on my own or through a publisher as a mythic anthology. The possibilities are endless. I'm also going to be trying to get out there into the wild world and actually make some public appearances, try and sell some books, etc. We'll see how it all goes. At any rate, we'll see what's in store for me. I'm going to cross "update blog" off of my list. Good night.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Why Your Pinterest-Inspired DIY Shampoos/Conditioners Are Crap

So, let me begin by saying that I'm all for the chemical-free movement. I think that, as much as possible, steering clear of chemicals of any sort is a good thing. So I tested out 3 Pinterest conditioner recipes, to see if there's anything to the hype of all this nonsense.

At the very least, I figured, I could use this type of thing if there were an apocalyptic societal-breakdown type scenario, right?

Well, you see, I love Pinterest - but Pinterest is a mixed bag of Genius and Garbage.

Here's how the three recipes turned out, and why I don't like them.

Recipe #1: 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar & 1 cup water
Verdict: There did seem to be a bit of a noticeable moisturizing effect, but not enough to make me want to use it after the first time. Doesn't hold a candle to the store-bought stuff.

Recipe #2: 1 can coconut milk & 2 tbsp. olive oil
Verdict: Has a satisfying thickness and clean smell to it. Seemed to be working. BUT...because it contains coconut MILK, it goes rancid quickly. Cannot make large batches and store it or anything.

Recipe #3: 1 tbsp. lemon juice
Verdict: It smells good, but that's it. It's lemon juice, not conditioner. AND now, there is the very real possibility of getting lemon juice IN MY EYES!!! WTF!

In closing, it was a noble idea. But in the event of a societal breakdown, the last thing I will be worrying about is conditioner, anyway. And as for the chemical-free argument, other people are using that very same store-bought shampoo/conditioner that you chose to forego, to make DIY lotions and shave gels, to cover way more surface areas of their bodies. It's a hopeless mission, this, and the world is a strange place. But it's just gonna be so much easier, to keep buying the store-bought stuff that actually works.

*Takes A Bow*

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Night of Artistic Experimentation

So I finally have some time to myself, tonight, and I've wanted to mess with this bag of mold-making plaster in the garage that's been there for quite some time now. I acquired it at a garage sale where I got a steal on a jewelry-making kiln ($40) and some molds to go with it. The lady who sold it to me, also gave me this box of mold-making plaster, and said that it all used to belong to her grandfather. I know ceramics used to be more of a popular hobby. What happened? Did the price of energy go up too high? Did people gain interest in other hobbies instead?

At any rate, a ceramic artist friend of mine said that plaster actually has a shelf life, and only typically lasts about 3 to 6 months. She mentioned that I might take some and test it out, before trying to do anything else with it. So tonight, I decided to gather some supplies and give it a go. I filled a cruet (the closest thing on hand) with some water, and also grabbed up a metal chopstick (for mixing) and an Altoids tin. If you're intending to duplicate this, grab whatever suitable items are close enough.

This is the box of mold-making plaster.

I checked for spiders and eggs, and then grabbed the box and ripped it open.

There was the bag of plaster, and a piece of paper. The paper talks about the brand Vigor-Vest. Turns out, this mold-making plaster is particularly of use for jewelry. Neat.

I put some of the material into the Altoids tin.

And added some water, and then mixed until it had a pancake mix-like consistency.

At the time of writing, I am letting it set, and harden a bit.

I let it set for about ten minutes or so, and by that time, it seemed fairly solid. So I took the shell I had, and pressed it into the material.

I took another ten minutes and did some dishes while I waited. Progress! Then, I checked the mold. The shell did take a little prying, but I was able to get it out, and I was left with a beautiful shell mold.

So it looks like the plaster's still good - and now I know how to make a mold out of an Altoid's tin - and so do you!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Wreck This Journal

I was intrigued as I looked through Barnes & Noble, when I found this little black book called Wreck This Journal. The journal prompts you to act crazy and create art at the same time. In short, it's genius, and it's been amazing, looking up on Pinterest what people have done with the various prompts/pages, and the different ways they've dealt with the same challenges.

I've been working on a page a day or so, and it's been like art therapy, as I work out my life's frustrations.

Check out my Wreck This Journal, here: https://www.pinterest.com/falcondraco/wreck-this-journal/

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Work Continues On Retribution

ret·ri·bu·tion

ˌretrəˈbyo͞oSH(ə)n/
noun
punishment inflicted on someone as vengeance for a wrong or criminal act.
"employees asked not to be named, saying they feared retribution"
synonyms: punishment, penalty, one's just deserts; More

So I'm continuing my work on Retribution - not so much looking at the actual wording, itself, so much as just giving the work and overall sense of synthesis. I have 65 pages, technically, and 45 of it is fairly cohesive storyline material. The other 20 pages, I will admit, is jumbled garbage.

Of course, I wrote it as a NaNoWriMo novel that I completed in the course of a month, so it is to be expected that the manuscript is not pristine and will need a lot of work.

My solution is to take things 5 pages at a time, and to stuff those 5 pages into my purse and just work on them - deleting, editing, adding sentences and smooshing them together. It's been a really successful process thus far. The good part of all this is that I've already got 37,000 words or so (60k is standard novel length) and the story's all just skin and bones. It'll be easy-peasy to add in the extra, needed 20k in word count and then some - most likely well over what is technically needed. After all, this is the final book in the series. It's my epic, where the battle of good and evil will rage, between my beaten-down main character Ash Kensington, and the mysterious dark lord Malegaunt.

And because I've seen so many fantasy stories where this doesn't happen, I have my main character actually go to the dark lord's tower, up through it, and challenge him one-on-one, sword in hard and try to kick his @$$ directly, and for no greater reason (though she puts on airs) than her own personal need for revenge.

At any rate, things are coming along, and I feel like my life is running parallel to the story at the moment, with things coming together in kind of a confusing synthesis. :)

Also, this is post #100 on this blog!!!! Hooray!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Teaching Myself Excel

The nature of interviews, at least for the state of California, seems to be changing.

I've been to several interviews now, and due to the self-testing process offered for many of the state lists, there is a new component that many departments are adding to their interview process - a test. Typically, this test includes some knowledge of a program called Excel.

I remember when the state was going by a different standard. That standard, required by nearly every interview I'd gone to, was 10-key typing. Well, I have a little finger on my right hand that is abnormally shaped, due to an old injury. But sure enough, I signed up for 10-key, and, by some miracle, got my 10-key typing certificate. I believe that this certificate did help me to land my first job with the state.

But now the standard has changed to Excel, and computer courses are costly and (I imagine) hard to come by if you have little free time, like myself.

Well, I took internet courses for my M.A. degree, and having had the self-discipline to finish these and make it through the program with my degree in-hand, I thought to myself, "You know, this might all be a lot easier if I can teach myself Excel, somehow."

Only, I had no guideline to work from. Well, I went down to the thrift store and bought a book on 97 Excel. Having been through so many college courses, I know that texts tend to change very little from one edition to the next. I have found that to be the case with Excel as well. A few things have changed slightly with the program, but mostly all for the aesthetics of it. The bulk of the program remains the same as it was in 97.

And so I am tackling one section at a time, and this old book has given me a guideline for how to go about teaching myself the program. I hope to be finished soon, and able to show others my new-found knowledge.