Josie and I were at Arcade Book Exchange in Hillsboro, OR, for our first Crow in the Hollow signing. Jordan Hofer, author of Saucerville was there as well. Great guy, and I'm looking forward to more signings with him. Right at the end of the event, as we were wrapping things up, a woman came running into the book store. He had been running in the rain. "Is it over? Can I still get a copy of Crow in the Hollow?" she said. She had come all the way to the store after working a double shift, and needing to catch a bus home, hoping to get a copy of my book. I happily got her one, signed it, and thanked her from the bottom of my heart for coming to my first signing. That was one of the proudest moments of my life.
Josie and I attended our first comic con together and had a great time. We met some great artists and writers, tons of fellow geeks, and made a couple of friends along the way. Even got the chance to meet and talk with one of my illustration idols, Gerald Brom (or just BROM.) The guy was amazing! Good times.
Hey folks, it's that time of year when magic and mystery are all around us. It's the perfect time to read CROW IN THE HOLLOW, and now at a reduced price for Kindle downloads. Sale starts tomorrow!
I've been playing with the idea for a YA book series for almost the past year, but with getting Crow in the Hollow completed and the Kickstarter squared away the idea has been pushed to background – not to mention that fact that I'm still in the middle of completing the next YOU CAN RELY ON PLATYPI comic book. I feel blessed to have a lot of cool ideas most of the time, but I only wish I was dutiful enough to bring them all to completion in a shorter period of time. Writing a book isn't easy, and neither is making a comic series (especially without any help,) but they are pretty fun, so I persevere.
The Wonderous Science will get done someday, and then story can stop taunting me from inside my head (as they all have done as one point or another.)
What is The Wonderous Science?
Imagine the ability to invent incredible wonders, imbued with the power to bend the very laws of nature. Now, imagine that power in the hands of a 14 year old girl.
Zora Sparks is a genius by all accounts. Having grown up in the foster care system, she has learned through experience to rely on herself and her own abilities, specifically her amazing skill in the Wonderous Science – a fabled knowledge that has raised kingdoms with unimaginable artifacts, and
toppled societies with terrible weapons. The Laurel Society has made it their mission to guide and protect those with this amazing ability, and “contain” those that have used it for evil. Now it falls to Ms. Daisy Kidd, a member of The Wardens Division of the society, to watch after Zora and her
precocious little brother, Nate. But, unknown forces are plotting in the shadows, and they have plans for the young prodigy. Can Daisy, Zora, and Nate discover what lies in the secret history of The Laurel Society before it’s to late?
Let me know what you think of the idea
If you aren't familiar with Vivian Maier's photography, then you are really missing out. I learned about her body of work about the same time that everyone else in the world did – when her lifetime's worth of film negatives were discovered during an auction. I won't recount the story of her life, or how her amazing work was hidden away for so many years (you should read about it yourself – it's quite an interesting tale.) What I will share with you, dear reader, is the lesson I learned from her art. Vivian spent years traveling and capturing some to the most striking images I have ever seen. Every time I look at one of her photos, I am mesmerized by her ability to see symmetry, depth, and beauty in every portrait and facade she pointed her camera at. She could empathize on a incredible level, not only capturing a true sense of humanity, but also a sense of history in a single moment. It takes my breath away.
Strangely enough, she never tried to capitalize on her talents. You never saw a Vivian Maier photo in Time Life, or anywhere for the matter. She hid her work away from everyone – family, friends, and close relations. Why! Maybe it was just a different time, and social pressures kept her from pursuing her passion as a carrier, who knows. But it didn't stop her from continuing to take photos, even though no one was praising or paying her for them. This strikes a chord in me. For as long as I can remember, I've been a storyteller, but creating something never was satisfying unless someone could see it. I think this is why I learned how to draw – it was just a faster way of getting people to notice my stories. I couldn't have been a Vivian Maier, making art just for arts sake. I needed the approval of those around me.
I'd like to think that I have grown in the past few years, and developed a deeper sense of who I am and what my work means to me. I can make something just for the sake of creating, but conversely this has led me to discover the true reason for sharing my work. It's not for praise, or approval, or self gratification. Art and stories are meant to inspire others. If it was purely a personal endeavor, then why show it to anyone at all. If someone had not found Vivian's years of incredible work secreted away in some dusty closet, I would never have had the chance to share in its inspiring vision.
In closing, share your art with others so that they may share in the power that inspires you.
Learn more about this amazing artist.
Hey all! Looks like I'll be signing books at Portland Wordstock this year. I'll be at the Inkwater Press booth from 3PM to 4PM with a limited number of books, posters, maps and bookmarks for the event. Come by and get a signed copy while supplies last (serious folks, I'm talking limited supply.) :)
Find out more about the event at www.wordstockfestival.com
Come and meet me and Jordan Hofer, author of Saucerville, at Arcade Book Exchange in Hillsboro, OR! We'll be signing books September 21st at 2 p.m. - I'll have some posters and bookmarks available as well.
Check out his page at http://saucervilletrilogy.com/
This morning I stepped outside to drive my wife to work, and a sort of elation came over me. The air had a crispness to it that was oh so familiar and welcomed after the hot summer we've had here in the Pacific Northwest. It smelled of wet leaves and dew, deep and rich, with wonderful chill and a distinct sprinkling of spices (like a subtle hint of nutmeg.) Images of pumpkin pie, golden orange leaves, and cheap plastic Halloween masks played through my mind like an old song once forgotten and suddenly remembered. I turned to my wife and said, "Fall is a' comin. Halloween is on its way." I had a big, goofy grin on my face, and she looked at me with a crooked smile – the kind of smile that said, "You are such a big kid," without having to use any words.
The truth of the matter is...I am. A big kid that loves Fall, Halloween, and all the magic and mystery that comes along with it.
Looks like supporters of the Crow in the Hollow Kickstarter are starting to have their books arrive on their doorsteps. I'd like to once again say how thankful I am for all their support. Some have even posted photos of their book and rewards to my Facebook page. It makes me feel really good to know that my work is out there in the world and people are getting enjoyment from it (and hopefully a little infusion of wonder in their lives.)
Thanks so much (and thanks for the photo, John!)