Author Archive

Sometimes when I’m writing, I just need the visual help of a sketch or drawing to flesh out a character. Every so often, I need the same for a ship or area. This is a sketch of the H.M.S. Libertainia from Wages of War.

Just to whet your palette:

 

“What humans do not, can not, or refuse to understand, we will attempt to control. Our fear drives us to pretend that we are in charge of this planet. It allows us the definitive justification that we can destroy at will because what we create in the aftermath of destruction must be better than the earth itself could have done.” – E. Gregor Reynard, High Chancellor of the First Reich

 

Is it just me, or is it threatening to read the terms of use sections on some social media sites?

From Twitter for example:

5. Your Rights

You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).

I feel like there must be a better way to allow for artists to spread their work that agreeing to “you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).” That’s just frightening! I don’t wish for others to have those rights to my work, that would be why I copyright in the first place.

The unfortunate flip side of that coin is that it has prevented me from branching my artwork out to many sites including, Twitter, Deviant Art, Stumble Upon, Tumblr, YouTube, etc. This is disconcerting because I feel as though I am not using the internet as well as I could.

The only reason I am in social media at all is because some companies have decided that this language (though the law sections of their corporations more than likely are opposed to the lack of this legaleze) have left out such threats to the intellectual property I hold dear. These sites are Facebook, WordPress, Vimeo, and Google+.

This rant is actually a large thank you to those corporations who understand that the little guy needs to possess something as well. I am grateful that the sanctity of my artwork is still of importance to these people.

Ladies, Gentlemen, Boys, Girls, and unidentified species,
It is now only two days away! The Rhode Island Comic Con is this SATURDAY and SUNDAY.
Get your tickets and see the amazing artists, listen to the phenomenal panelists, meet celebrities from your favorite shows and comics, and oh yes, see me for your signed copy of Broken Silences (specially priced at $10 for the Con).

www.ricomiccon.com

Dearest readers,

In the adventures of writing and drawing, I have been lax of late. I feel as though I have beset by distraction from the fates as they thumb their noses to the muses that support my creativity. Tonight, I will at least prep for a gallery show next Thursday and hope for the best. Positivity is my one asset as I return the thumbing in the direction of the snarky fates. I shall not think of failure, despite your best efforts, sisters three.

To you, those who follow this weblog, I ask a paltry favor, send me a tad bit of your positive energy. It will carry me through these doldrums as a wind in my creative sails. I thank you in advance for adding to what I push for every day. The sea ahead is stormy, but I see a grand adventure, refusing to accept what others are telling me will surely sink me.

Sail on with me, and I will bring you more adventure from the confines of my mind. Here is a sampling from Wages of War. Attached is a sketch and a letter from Cavan to Jules.

Jules,                                             May 12, 1919

My dear friend, I do miss you at this time. I am not sure how this letter will find you, but the Harcos and the Empire’s best have assured me you will receive it. I must tell you of the events in the last two weeks.

Sonia and I arrived via the Resuelto. Being that you had more cause to occupy the military frigates than us, since we’re travelling within the empire’s continent. When we touched down in Seattle, the province was in an uproar. Across the airfield, a riotous crowd ran for our moorings, trying to pull us down. It was bedlam. We managed to take flight again with only a few civilians falling short distances, but with a cross-continental trip we were nearly out of coal.

The captain radioed to the governor’s office in the province trying to ascertain what could have caused this. It turns out that someone had beat us to Seattle. Every night, from the air, Japanese war dragons had been dropping barrels of gasses killing all of the fairies. Thankfully we arrived in the middle of the day avoiding the nocturnal siege of the city.

Seventy-Four elderly and infants had died from inhalation poisoning. The military forces posted this far out were no match for the massive airships and the dozens of biplanes they carry.

For all of my fans who are waiting to pick up a signed copy of Broken Silences (and get a preview of Wages of War) I’ll be at the Rhode Island Comic Con November 3, and 4 at the Rhode Island Convention Center. There will be art and personalities galore on hand. Come and join us for the FIRST RI Comic Con!

Writing strong characters is such a major portion of the writers vocation. As we form our characters we begin with the archetypes we’ve been taught from the rest of society. Then we creatively manipulate them to make lives that never were seem like they’ve always been. When constructing these beings from the aether and our minds, we try to embrace archetypes and stigmas and bring them to an elevation beyond the readers’ expectations.

Heroes are generated from the minds of people that may not be heroes themselves, and villains sprout from the minds of the seemingly average person. But what makes the writer and his/her character whole? It is, in my humble opinion, the writer’s ability to encapsulate the soul into words. It is beyond simple stereotype and societal norm, it is with profound understanding that we do what we do and create the lives that transport others to new worlds. That takes courage. It is a courage of heart that is possessed by all, but tapped into by very few.

I have been told on many occasions that I must be very “in touch with my feminine side.” I am, married to a brilliant and wonderful woman who fills my day with beauty, love, strength, challenge and kindness. We share a life with our children (all of whom are girls) in a combined family. I am surrounded by women. For a time I taught in an all-girls school with a 100 – 1 female to male ratio for combined faculty/student/staff population. I have spent much of my adult life surrounded by the misnamed “weaker sex.”

Misnamed? Why? Other than the obvious political incorrectness, I say that women are the stronger sex because of how I have seen (with much experience as stated above) what fortitude they possess. As I see it, women possess a unique ability to love with strength. The feminine side of humanity is the greater side of the coin. Men in touch with the real feminine side of themselves possess the following qualities that women naturally carry; the ability to love without compromise someone in need, the power to never let adversity stand in the way of doing what they know is right, preserving through service the dignity of fellow humans, and most importantly – the ability to put aside themselves for the good of others. This sounds like the description of a superhero, but it is what I see when I look in my wife and daughters’ eyes.

Femininity, unlike womanhood, is a delicacy of character that not suppresses, but cleverly disguises the above-mentioned traits. It is the way that women show true superiority. Men with the traits of women tend to be glorified and placed upon high. It is the men with femininity and the ability to suppress the need for glory as women do that are true heroes alongside their sisters.

I must make a distinction here. Not all women possess the traits of heroes that are listed above. Those women are in touch with their “masculine side.” Like the societal perception of feminine differs from my definition, so does masculine. A woman who is in touch with her real masculine side will perform as a male does; caring only for personal physical needs, a concern with only personal safety and protection in extreme circumstances, and a need to escape the danger of intimacy with either force or flight. Women imbued with these traits are truly masculine.

Society tells us that masculine means physically strong and having a sturdy, stoic approach to living. This same society teaches that feminine is emotionally charged, weak of body, and less logical. This is an archetype that is long overdue for a change. I will strive as a writer the show in the art of words what true fortitude of character means. That humans having abilities to be heroes need to first be fully human. Men must have the strength of woman and woman must have the ability to shed the false demure without losing the humility of person. Then, we have characters that are true heroes.

With all of this diatribe behind me, I must say that as a writer I strive to allow my characters growth into full humanity for heroes, or into villains lacking in the positive of both male and female. I was inspired to write this blog entry because my wife is the biggest hero I know. Her fortitude of character is something I only hope to come near as a person. I have modeled Sonia after her and await her growth during this adventure. I do hope I can grow with her.

So, where did it all start?

The Fairy Wars Trilogy, I mean…

 

The Fairy Wars Trilogy, the first book of which is Broken Silences followed by Wages of War (currently in progress) started with a sketch. It was a fairy in a flower holding a mystical orb. One of my students in a summer program I was running saw it in my sketchbook and commented, “I wonder how these things gestate?” That sent a spark of imagination swirling around my brain like a maelstrom of creativity. Science and art, two of the things I love, suddenly started to play with each other in my head. A third participant in the party joined in – history.

Taking my three favorite subjects and combining them into one was an inspiration. I started with Dr. Hermius Anstruther Fa.D. The man who theorized that fairies were more than mindless primates good for pest control and as caged pets. From there, I began to configure the growth pattern of fairies from egg to adult. I wanted to figure out the evolutionary path that led to 10 limbs on a primate. I had determined that it was a cross of arachnid with primate that would allow for this.

Last, I began anatomical sketches explaining the various parts of fairy anatomy so that it would be plausible. I must admit the whole process has taken up a gigantic portion of my brain for over three years now. The next book in the series Wages of War is in progress. How the story came about is something entirely different which I will go into in my next blog…

Ephemeral:

e·phem·er·al [ih-fem-er-uhl]

adjective

1. lasting a very short time; short-lived; transitory

There are times I become reflective and concern myself with the temporal nature of human existence. We are all a flash in the collective light of eternity. What makes us so different from the multitude of species that have walked this universe prior to us? I would propose it is our very ability to ask that question.

I have asked that question for as long as I can remember. It was at age six that I began to wonder what this vessel of life that was me really meant. The precipitating event to spawn this in a first grader was the death of my grandfather. Something began in me that questioned the premise that I am nothing more than my name. The label that was attached to me, my name, was not ME. Like any person discovering person-hood, I set out to discover the basis of what makes humanity different from the rest of creation.

Raised Roman Catholic, there are a set of definitions that don’t always agree to describe the human condition. My grandfather, a Roman Catholic Deacon who was considered in high regard, lived his life with a few dreams, a keen understanding of his purpose, and a respect for something larger than himself. I knew him very vaguely, but I miss him to this day. Dying at 54 from a heart attack after a battle with other diseases, I often wonder what he would think of what I have become. This brings me to the next level of self-realizing cognitive questioning – the afterlife.

Einstein believed in the afterlife in respect to the fact that energy, once created, can never disappear, only change form. I wonder where the myriad of people that I have watched die or know to have passed have gone. The reason I wonder this is that after more than thirty years of contemplation on the subject, I’ve become more and more convinced that our true selves lie in the firing of the electrical impulses within our brains that generate the energy we place into our lives events. So where does that energy go? More than 6,000,000,000 people inhabit this globe at this moment. What of the countless that came before? Where is their energy? Some believe it flows back into other beings and even plants. Others hold fast to a structure of hierarchical planes of existence to which the energy or ‘soul’ will enter after the current mortal coil is shoved off. East or west, humans have believed in energy transfer (just under differing names).

We are truly all attached in some method. My existence is purposeful and valuable to the wider spread of energy. The pursuit of knowledge and the like is always superseded in mythos and religion by one thing – positive thought and actions. Being positive, sharing the energy of kindness and good nature toward fellow beings is the core of all major faiths on this planet. That is no coincidence. We all live on this plane at this moment. The connectivity of humanity is irrefutable if you look at the core of all major faiths – Love self, love others, take care of the earth. This is what assures me in my faith. My faith in humanity and that there is a higher power, even if that higher power is simply an amalgamation of all of the energy of every being the universe has ever seen fit to generate.

Perhaps the greatest portion of being a writer, particularly a fiction writer is the ability to create the energy for a being that never existed in a physical plane. If they did and channeled here through a writer, so much the better. I adore creating worlds and planes of existence for my readers and I hope they enjoy it as well.

May my grandfather and all those before me rejoice in the plane that they now exist upon. I will do my best to hold down the fort in this one by making my own planes and energetic characters to carry humans through the greatest of all planes of existence and by far the most ephemeral – imagination!

Yours in Art,

Jason

Dearest Readers,

Broken Silences has received its first bit of press. Please read and enjoy!

Yours in Art,

Jason

http://woonsocket.patch.com/articles/steamy-exhibit-opens-tonight-at-stage-right-studio