Design Diaries: The Rising, ChibiFied

 

 

 

 

 

 

I occasionally feel the urge to create. If I don’t kill that urge, I get slightly depressed (does that make me homicidal?). Recently my mind was like: “Hey, let’s do drawings of the constellation of characters in The Rising.” (in case you don’t know about The Rising, read the story here, or check related post under the “Fiction” tab up there.)

Turns out I can’t draw as good as I think I can in my head. So I hopped over to Google to learn how to draw Japanese style chibi. Here is the first one I did:
Spider SketchSpider (real name: Temi Adeola) is a reality twisting Magus with a strange past which includes patricide. She kinda-sorta saved the life of Carlos, below, and he is eternally grateful.

Carlos

This is Carlos, he’s a sad chap at the moment, he was just dumped rather unceremoniously at a very public event. That thing circling around him? That’s fluidized Alchemycal metal (Again, more details on the events surrounding the image here)

Will be back with more in the near future, well… as long as I don’t get bogged down by my day job.

 

 

Red is a Christmassy Color

The final part of the first Tetrad of The Rising was supposed to come out yesterday. Unfortunately, I had data connection and editing issues. This means it’s being released today instead.

I don’t have much time to actually write a blog post today but here’s a sneak preview of the draft cover for the next scene:

tetrad2

That red stuff… not necessarily macabre. Red is a Christmas color too you know.

The new cover has almost the same color scheme as the first Tetrad cover (plus or minus a little hint and hue and a whole lot of black):

Black_Widow_wattpad2

I decided to use a different format for each cover, the same way the writing styles in each new part are switched around. I look forward to stretching the limits of font and imagination!

Check out the complete Tetrad 1

🙂

Merry Christmas!

Pax,
Salaam,
Shalom
Peace be unto you.

Old Post: Fiendish Detachment

I ate an unhealthy amount of fermented milk this morning. This has nothing to do with the days post whatsoever, just thought it was important somehow.  It’s all good though, I ate an equally unhealthy amount of babies to mop up all that milk…[insert suitably evil laugh].

“Yoghurt and a cheese sandwich is the breakfast of champions” methought, when I woke up this dark and dismal morning…

Bad idea.

The yoghurt was slightly off and the cheese (made by a certain wicked corporation which refuses to quit milking the endangered laughing cow, bos grinon-idyoticalus) was hard enough to crush diamonds with. Meal of champions my ASS (Applied Sciences Society)!

Luckily, even though I am not tall enough to be irresistibly appealing to the fairer sex, I am not short enough to get constant heartburn (I am dark and handsome though, two out of three ain’t bad I guess).

Back to the topic (coincidentally the title of a video made for filibusters, politicians and women’s rights campaigners… and several others including apparently one that would get me slammed for being ‘anti-semetic’… … … oops).

My free thesis today is on a particularly curious trend that grows curiouser and curiouser every year. The plague on trial is social, physical, psychological and Freudian (not really, just thought that it would be a nice time to spice up my post with a bit of psychoanalytic babble). Curiousest of all, it seems to target the young more than the aged, a kind of reverse stroke/cardiovascular problem/brittleness of bones thing. I call the disease, detachment (pronounce it like you’re French; “dey-tach-man”, if you feel like being posh and expert-like).

Detachment, the curious situation which results from a curiouser attachment to personal digital devices and deprives a naturally gregarious homo sapien of his social instinct. The affected specimen (a close biological relative of the chitter-chattering, flea-picking, ass-sniffing primate known as the chimpanzee) loses all the real social interactivity which is characteristic of its biological family: gossip (chitter-chattering), tactile contact (flea-picking) and ass-kissing (the only kind of gregarious contact in which our species skill had exceeded the lowly chimp).

There are varying levels of affliction. Victims vary between acute: constantly listening to music on phone/walkman/ipod with one earbud occasionally ostentatiously placed outside of its biological receptacle…

To chronic: simultaneously tweeting, BBing/IMing and listening to music…

And to tragically fatal: simultaneously tweeting, BBing/IMing, listening to music with music-studio type beats by dre headphones, iphone gaming AND facebooking

My fellow researchers (buddies and gal pals) posit that although addiction to social media is a symptom of detachment, the severity of affliction is independent of the degree of the symptom. Simplified for weaker readers; addiction to social media doesn’t necessarily equate with detachment.

Detachment is more like a kind of new era pseudo-autism. In an online society where you are judged by your photo-shopped profile pics, retweeted smarts and ‘number-of-strangers-I-know’, it’s much easier to feel superhuman. We have essentially stored part of our psyche; our essential persona and most importantly our self-esteem in cyberspace (see how many of us started hyperventilating when we heard rumours about facebook shutting down… life hard oo!).

Kinda reminds me of my reflections after watching that movie with the ‘yippie ka-yay mother******’ dude… Smel Ribson or something; Surrogates. Whilst the compatriots who were almost as deep as paper [sarcasm] said “duhh, I don’t get it” and those who were much smarter than themselves [inverted sarcasm] thought “pshht! That stuff is impossible, ah! See obroni (white man), lying as always, awam nkoaa”. I took time to stew and realized that that was me, or more accurately, that was us.

We interact through surrogates now. At least in the movie Smel didn’t forsake tactile contact like we’ve begun to. We’re so afraid of injuring not our bodies, but our psyches, that we project ourselves as ‘mighty mighty’ (see award winning comedy producer, Chuck Lorre’s Mike and Molly S1 Ep. 1) on a plane in which we really can’t exist.

Enough of the serious stuff though, heard the term cyber cahoneys? (balls, big-boys, guts, chutzpah, grits, vim, ani3den etc.). Noticed lately how full of beans people can seem on the socialweb, and then how lame they actually are in life… nuff said. I’m not saying I’m excluded though, wish I could say that I’ve actually talked to even 50% of the hot girls on my facebook friend list!

I am only concerned about detachment because of its implications for humanity. In a world with; environmental problems, a widening gap between rich and poor, widespread poverty, discriminatory hate and crime, doesn’t this plague remove the fix-it generation from the world crises?

It’s a further decomposition of what I like to call the human tele-empathic trait; ‘feelin’ the pain of anotha brotha’. The effect could be tragic (not counting the loss of the next Einstein as he crosses the street lost in his ipod playing at ‘public broadcasting’ volume levels).

P.s. I seriously miss the good ol’ days when a fella with real cahoneys could hit on a hot girl whilst in transit in public transport, nowadays they’re all on their BB machines going tick-tick-tickity-tick at 120 LPM (lols a minute). Let’s not even talk about the evils of the iphone… an app with instructions to fix every possible PC error?! Horrors, now there’s not gonna be any more fixit calls! (distant cousin to the booty call).

 

On Diversity

I agree with the general direction of the post. Even though diversity is a nice thing, writing will always the reflect the writer.
It’s the “Write what you know” paradigm.
Geeks write geek fiction, funny people write the best humorous fiction etc. It’s the reason why in US sci-fi is American centric and Japanese Anime is Japan-centric.

On that point though, cognisance must be taken of the fact that Japanese Anime, for a country which is clearly less diverse, represents significant character diversity when compared to Western Cartoons (including black and european characters).
It IS true that even for western SFF that is set on a global scale, global representation can be extremely skewed for no good reason.
As a teen I was irritated by Julian May’s Galactic Mileu – So many world cultures and yet the cultural identities with the strongest Psychics (Irish, Polish and French/Franco-American) were all caucasian! Tell me that isn’t skewed.

I think for diverse writing, what we need to look towards is diverse authors and artistic freedom during formative years.
Stereotyping is real and it does affect the type of fiction a budding writer is pushed towards writing. As an African writer I am continually given subtle pressure to write something ‘real’ and political after the nature of great African writers.
Freedom of expression and growth needs to apply to authors as well – even to the extent of crossing over or colouring our work with other genres.

Diversity in writing isn’t an ailment in itself, it’s merely a symptom of a larger social shortcoming.

SEGT: Scene 2 Prewriting

Hello mine underlings of the 9 realms of Yggdrasil ( see the about page for an explanation of that craziness)

Two nights ago I was struck by inspiration at the witching hour, for scene 2 of the Silver eyes golden torcs (SEGT) serial anthology. Read scene 1 on wattpad [here]

Relax. The witching hour is nothing supernatural, it’s just a time frame between 0100 and 0400 where I’m half dreaming and half awake. I borrowed the term from Roald Dahl’s ‘The Big Friendly Giant’.

I got my trusty iPad stylus and jotted down the ideas that came to me. This was one of the concrete ones that developed (Sorry. My handwriting is rather atrocious) :

IMG_0256Translation (for those of you who don’t read Scribblish) – Begin with: Aya, the left half of my heart, the right half of my soul, has left. She didn’t just leave me. She left any hope for an US.

I also scribbled down the format I would take on this scene. I went for a T-minus countdown slash first person journal kind of vibe. See below:IMG_0255Translation: 3 days to go, 2 days to go, 16h 25mins to go. A counter begins in my head… 682 days to go.

I’ll post a preview of scene two on this blog by 1900 GMT…hopefully. The full scene (short story) will only be available on wattpad [search for me on wattpad: @kwesiwoode].

SEGT is a dystopic parody of real world events, even though it is social/political science fiction. I’ll probably post the core, real world event that inspired each scene on this blog as we go along.

 

WRITING TIP: Pre-write, Speed-write, Post-write and then Edit and Review. This five step process can save a lot time. It’s also a sort of vaccine against major attacks of writers block (the minor ones like the: I-need-a-perfect-word-for-this migraine may still persist. If symptoms persist for more than 3 days, see your Mentor)

I have seen many forms of pre-writing, but ultimately, I believe you have to pick a style of pre-writing that you are comfortable with.

Will talk more about the five step process later…. and now I realize that with just this one post I have created a tall list of blog posts that I have to write (sweatdrop and shivers).

 

 

 

DreamHart Introduction

The following piece is from the introduction of what was supposed to be a writing exercise. The narrative, you may notice, is far more casual and conversational than I usually use in my fiction pieces.

I’m going to start out on the pre-writing for it and see how it goes. If it’s too similar to something I’ve already created, I’ll probably end up scrapping it.

I think I have a problem, but I don’t think I can solve it.

I think I have a problem, but there’s no one I can talk to.

I know it sounds cliché, but I have always known I was different. Not different like in a “Harry Potter, the boy who lived” kind of way. But different in a subtle, don’t fit in with the world way.

Okay, let me be honest. I don’t think I was always this way. Wait. Was I?…

Nope, not if memory serves me right. Childhood memories can be a bit tricky though, so I guess that leaves room for doubt.

Sometimes I have an echo of that dream, it’s a little bit distorted though. Like ripples from a pebble thrown into a pond…

By that dream, I mean the dream that probably marked the point at which I changed.

Maybe that’s why I have an unnatural attachment to comic books and manga. I probably looked to them for explanations, a way to find myself.

Manga are cooler than comics by the way, just in case you think otherwise. If you do think otherwise, you might need a lobotomy. I’m not being mean or anything, don’t get me wrong, fact is fact.

Now, where was I?…Yeah. I said I am different. In a weirdly awesome way though, nothing grossly weird like an extra mini-boob or a teeny penis or anything.

My awesomeness is in four parts, brace yourself…

First, I can see behind myself. Like literally. I only do it when I want to. I don’t know how to explain it, it’s like trying to describe how you wiggle your ears (which I can also do, in case you’re wondering).

Let me see… Aha! See like how even when you’re looking forward, you can expand your field and make use of peripheral vision? Ok. My peripheral vision is better. Unless I’m reading or totally focused on something, I am totally un-sneak-up-on-able.

The second and third bits are even better than the first. I can hear for miles and see smells.

I read up on it. The term for ‘cross overs in sensory perception’ is synesthesia. Cool term huh? I think so too.

The super sharp hearing is annoying though. The number of times I’ve had to lie about not knowing a secret? I can’t even begin to count. It helps that I can hold the hearing back. Like how you can focus your sight far away or close up, unless you are far or near sighted.

The final spot of awesomeness is physical. I think my reflexes are ok, well… I haven’t had much of a scale of comparison. But I can run forever. I was the athletics queen of my school, and I didn’t even try. I skipped training like crazy and I spent most of my time indoors, reading or sleeping (that didn’t do wonders for my popularity with the team, trust me).

I aced almost every track and field event I tried: hurdles, sprints, long distance track, high jump and pole vault. I admit that things that need brute strength like discus and javelin were a bit out of my ball park, but besides that I was pretty perfect.

So, my quadrofecta of perfection again, in case you weren’t paying attention the first time: 360º vision (or close enough), synesthesia, ultra hearing and kinesthesia.

I’m not a super hero though. None of that nonsense. I’m not even a hero, much less a super powered one. Before I knew exactly what was different about me, I was just an oddly blessed non-hero type secondary school girl with an extreme affection for Japanese manga.

Ok, I was ordinary until I ended up being the object of a top secret international man hunt. But that would happen later, much later… and it wasn’t my fault. Well , not totally.

My story is like none other that you have heard. It should be, because it’s mine, not some fictionalized something you’d find on a bookshelf somewhere. But I must warn you, if you want to follow my story, you’ll have to do something first. You have to suspend belief. If you can’t do that, I’d advise you stop reading right now.

I will tell you my story, a story linked that of thousands, or possibly millions of FeraSouls not unlike myself, and I’ll let you decide for yourself whether our cause is just.

I will take you on a journey of how I rose from an obscure developing nation at the centre of the world (quite literally at the centre), to the throne of the DreamHart, leader in spiritus of the Faunus Nation.

I will tell you of how being me affected my ambitions to practice medicine and estranged me from family. I will also tell you of loves I gained and lost and lives that slipped away on my journey.

Sometimes my story will be a gripping page turner, and maybe sometimes extremely boring (my life is not necessarily a 24hour action movie).

I am the first DreamHart to become a public figure, so maybe, just maybe, the story of how that happened will be worth your time.

In order to keep this story unbiased, some chapters will be written by my dear lieutenants and allies. Some chapters will also be accounts from the perspective of my detractors and sworn enemies (I have grown to learn that these two groups of people can quite frequently cross ship without so much as a ‘by your leave’ smh).

Before I blow you away with what I, at least, believe is a saga of very epic proportions, I’ll give you a moment to go hang your disbelief out on the line, curl up on a couch and put your phone on silent.

Are you ready? Good. Let’s get this started then.

My name is Desire Dela Anatsui and I am the Primus; Alpha of Alphas of the Fauns and master of six elements. Some call me the Queen of Chaos, some call me the Black Rabbit and some even call me ‘That B*tch”, but you can call me Dela. This is my story.

….

The Rising: Scene 1 Now online!

After a lot of thinking and consideration, I decided to publish the first tetrad (set of 4 short story scenes) of ‘The Rising’ on wattpad. Take a look at it here.

I have already done pre-writing for 3 tetrads and initial manuscripts for the first 6 scenes. Check out a preview paragraph from the second scene here.

Will be posting previews, background and commentary only on this blog so… if you like the story, follow me here. Please also follow me on wattpad (@kwesiwoode) [insert puppy dog eyes].

Making my Second Book Cover

Over the last week a friend of mine asked me to do a ‘logo’ for her Christian fellowship. She’s pretty… very pretty, so of course I said yes. This was the first draft, I tried to keep it simple:
TLC 1st Concept

Apparently simple was not the way to go. She said the design was too simple. She needed it to be more ‘busy’: flourishes and florals and stuff. Well, busy isn’t really my thing, but I tried my best. I wasn’t surprised when she rejected the result:

TLC3

I ended up passing the work over to another dude (I may have lost out on a fine girl’s number in the process. Well…que sera sera).

I repurposed the work for my own book cover:Silver Eyes Cover‘Silver Eyes & Golden Torcs’ is a learning experience for me. It’s dystopian science fiction which doesn’t use most of the elements that I’m used to: no distortions in reality; no deus ex machina; more death; more mature content etc.

You can read the scenes for ‘Silver Eyes & Golden Torcs’ on Wattpad here: http://w.tt/1zeqPAo

Serializations will be posted only on Wattpad, (maybe FictionPress later on… can’t tell yet) please follow me on Wattpad ( @kwesiwoode ) to receive updates on my work.

No ‘Cogito’, ergo no ‘Sum’

This short story piece was actually, believe it or not, inspired by a dream I had last night. It’s a bit of a rush job, so I didn’t really have time to edit it. It’s a scene from a dystopic coalition of states. The theory behind it is a slightly exaggerated, sci-fi big-brother version of my country… They say write what you know, so I did.

Cogito ergo sum – “I think, therefore I am.”

-Reneé Descartes

I enter the class with only my slate.

Over a hundred younger eyes look at me expectantly, good-eyes and silver-eyes wide open. They hush to acknowledge the primacy of my position.

I glance at the LEDboard; it hasn’t been cleaned yet. I let it pass.

The previous lecturer obviously left it crowded to prove that he didn’t think much of what I teach. According to the Manual of Rank, Status and Authority, he is higher than my immediate boss by virtue of age, and higher than myself by both age and position.

For a people of higher status, high ranks can be remarkably juvenile.

“Good afternoon, class.” I say briskly, and as loud as I can. The address system is broken again. Manpower will have to do.

“Gooood aaafternoonn siiirr.” The class choruses in return, a cacophony of voices in different timbres and moods.

I gather my thoughts as I look at my slate. Over a hundred young souls; well, much closer to two hundred really. Most of them had high rank simply by virtue of birth.

It wasn’t in any Manual that one, ‘primacy by birth”, but everyone acted as if it was.

I was supposed to be teaching them ‘Philosophy and critical thinking’. What a farce! The system they had been pushed through up to then had methodically and progressively destroyed creativity and original thought.

I look over them as I mull. Each and every one of them has the smooth grey plastic of a torc around their neck. Each also has a single eye with a silvered pupil.

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