My Bucket List: Graphic Novel Project

Some of you know, that I am a resident of a virtual world called Second Life. A world by the people for the people, when it comes to the world itself. Everything you see from items, houses, clothing, skins, hair and what not has been made by residents. I’m one of these content creators as well but today I want to talk about a different part of this world.

For about 6 years – I think – I am part of a theatre group in that virtual world: The Jewell Theatre. We are a group of people enjoying the art of theatre and bring it to different places to entertain the audience. We also meet at least once a year to participate in the 48 hours machinima festival, in which we make short machinimas in competition with other teams. We are having a ton of fun with this and can’t wait for the next time.

jewell-theatre-seal

Why am I telling you this? Because our theatre writer and director Karen Wheatley has written a machinima for this festival 5 years ago called “The Lucid Journey”. Just recently for Second Life’s 13th birthday, she rewrote it to make it into a play to perform during the festivities. It came out so well, that we also went on tour with it.

In every culture there have been legends regarding the relationship between our dreams and travel. Suppose our dreams are more than random scenes from our waking lives? Lewis Liddell is missing presumed dead, and his wife is left to unravel the mystery of what’s become of him. Her journey to find him will take her into our shared dreamscape and beyond.

During the tour while looking at screenshots of the play, an idea was born. What if we made a Graphic Novel out of this story? Yeah, what if? I tell you what. It’d be awesome!

We had a photoshoot in which I shot about 400 snapshots. Karen and I work on sifting through the script to make sure that we only have the necessary parts in the graphic novel, and I can check something off my bucket list. I always wanted to create a Graphic Novel but never knew about what and how, since I can’t draw for my life. So this is super exciting for me, Karen and the members of the Jewell Theatre. The first pages are already done. I just love seeing how it comes together!

If you are interested in hearing more about the Jewell Theatre you can follow the Twitter account. If you are a Second Life resident, you can visit the sim and join the subscriber to be informed about new plays.

Have you ever created a Graphic Novel or worked with someone on one? Do you like Graphic Novels or do you prefer regular novels? Share your experiences with me below in the comics. Let’s have a chat!

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Brand spanking new Podcast interview

Some of you know, that part of my creativity goes to and comes from being a member of a Star Trek Roleplaying Community called Starbase 118. I’ve written with this group of ST enthusiasts for 4 years and have met all kinds of awesome people from casual writers to fellow authors. In this community of fans and writers we also have great institutions like a podcast team! Jonathan Snyder from that team has recently interviewed me about what I do when I’m not writing for Starbase 118 and the result has been published today!

It has been my very first audio interview so I was a little nervous, but I had a blast! Of course I’m sharing it with you and hope you’ll enjoy!

What did you think of the interview? Did you enjoy the information you’ve got? Which questions would you ask me if you had the chance? Did you do podcast interviews and how did they go? Please comment below and let me know! Thank you for taking the time and see you around next time!

Mockups are fun

Just recently I found myself in the wonderful workd of mockups. I found so many that I want to use for the future that I filled half my hard-drive with them. These are PSD files (at least in the cases that I have here), that help you display your own works in realistic pictures. It is surprisingly hard to explain. But I’ll show you an example below.

That mockup has a ready made picture and the card standing in front of the box allowed to add my own text and card design so it looks like it belongs into the setting. There are mockups for all kinds of things like book covers, computer screens, phone screens, booklets, posters and so on and so forth. They are really fun and come in quite handy. Not only for graphic designers but also for authors who want to display their work in new ways.

I used this one to make it look it belongs into the world of “Sra’kalor”, the card being a part of the story without giving anything away you won’t know after the first two chapters. 😉 The mockup I used can be found here on forgraphictm.com. Hope you enjoy!

Zantor Card Mockup

 

 

 

Digital Cross-stitching fun

Usually I try to stick to writing, but I had a little too much fun for the last two days with this little App on Facebook, I want to tell you about. It’s called “Cross-Stitch World”.

Some might ask why anyone would want to cross stitch online, and I can totally understand that. I had the same question, at least until I tried it. After playing around for a while I found it oddly calming, almost like coloring books, or painting by colours, which is basically the same thing just with cross-stitching, that you do with your mouse (which is a good thing because I can’t cross-stitch in Real Life). You choose a picture and you get a color palette of yarn and when you zoom into the picture you can see where which color belongs. You put each color into the respective boxes and the picture takes form.

But the really cool think about it is, that you can turn your own images into cross-stitch patterns. And that was what I did last night. I cross-stitched the cover of my book “Sra’kalor” and the female lead Alana. And I possibly had a bit too much fun. I’m still playing around with other pictures but need a break, because my hand started to hurt. 😉

06108-83b9652b-8d9f-4463-b4da-eda5c59d580e 06109-5aa1b124-7f00-465a-ae2d-265cfed5225b

Why don’t you head on over and take a peek, play around. And share your cross-stitches with me? I’d love to see what everyone does with it. 🙂

Coloring Hope

I don’t know about you, but I love coloring books. I always have loved them. As a child I kept filling them with all kinds of color from crayons, pens, even ink if I didn’t have anything else. I especially enjoyed using unexpected color and colour outside of lines, adding backgrounds that were not implied. I even have a coloring book for adults, but that is NSFW (adult adult lol) so I am not sharing pictures here. It is calming and relaxing to me, also because I cannot paint, so I appreciate someone delivering the shapes and leaving the rest to me.

Today I felt like coloring but didn’t have anything to color. So I made one myself. It is super simple and leaves a lot of details to the colorer’s interpretation and mood. I thought it would be fun to share it with you. You can download it and color it, digitally or after printing it out, whatever you like. It’s my gift to you.

Coloring Page Hope - Preview

This is merely a preview. The download version is 7654 x 5385 pixels big. You can grab it here.

If you like feel free to share your final colored pictures with me in the comments. I’d love to see them. Who knows maybe I’ll make more in the future.

Handwriting challenge

A few days ago a friend of mine issued a handwriting challenge on one of the social media platforms I lurk around. It was actually supposed to write something nice, but well call it artistic freedom or something: I did my own thing. And I thought it’d ba fun to share with you, sharing why I do not handwrite my drafts.

Have you done the challenge? If not, feel free to join in! Share yours in the comments, be it video or picture 🙂

Ongoing Worlds: Fall Festival V is coming!

Some of you already know – the rest will learn now – that I am an avid Roleplayer. I have been filling evenings with this fun activity for over 20 years, be it Pen & Paper, IRC, Forum or EMail. For about 3.5 years I am member of the fantastic Star Trek PbeM UFOP: Starbase 118, and this upcoming Saturday, we are hosting the Ongoing Worlds: Fall Festival V.

FallFest

That’s right, the 2015 Simming Fall Festival will be held on December 5th from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM EST (1:30 PM to 10:30 PM GMT). Ongoing Worlds is proud to announce that UFOP: StarBase 118 will be hosting, with James Drysdale serving as chairman. You may remember that UFOP also hosted the 2013 festival, which was wildly successful. For a few short hours in December, the entire simming and online role playing community will come together to share ideas, role play, and join in a few trivia games–all in IRC chat rooms. James and UFOP will be on point to make it all happen.

Now why am I telling you that. First and foremost, this even it a lot of fun, and very informative with discussion chats for not only those that enjoy roleplaying, but also for writers. While the chats are based mostly on what roleplayers want to talk about, hosted by great people all over the community, some subjects can be interesting for everyone who builds worlds on paper.

I will be hosting two chats myself and invite you to join me for the following discussions:

Chat 1:
SESSION TIME:
9am Pacific / noon Eastern / 5pm GMT
SESSION ROOM: #FallFest2
SESSION NAME: Writer’s block and how to break through the wall
SESSION DESCRIPTION: Writer’s block is common among writers, no matter if alone or in a group. Let’s take a look at different techniques to break through

Chat 2:
SESSION TIME:
1pm Pacific / 4pm Eastern / 9pm GMT
SESSION ROOM: #FallFest1
SESSION NAME: Developing Relationships in Roleplay
SESSION DESCRIPTION: The chat will be about developing relationships in Roleplay: romantic, friendship and even fiends

The chatrooms will be available through a web-based chat client that you do not need to download. Simply go here and connect.

A full schedule for all chats, trivias and so on can be seen here!

I am looking forward to the chats and hope to see the one or other of you there! Mark your calenders for Saturday, December 5th!

Snippets – Prompt #3

It is past time for another Snippet! For those among you who are new here, here is how this works:

I am posting a Snippet below. It is something I wrote down at some point and did not develop, but I would love to see get its own life. Then you go and write whatever pops into your mind. You can make it a story about how it came to this, or maybe it is the beginning or the middle. You can write a poem, or anything else that is inspired by the Snippet. If you want, you can share it in the comments, because I would LOVE to see what you did with the Snippet, and show it to everyone. Easy enough, right?

So here we go, the newest snippet for you guys:

Snippet3

I can’t wait to see what you are coming up with. Please share your stories in the comments, I would LOVE to read them!

Fireworks!

Fireworks Today is my Birthday.

Now that this is out of the way, I want to share with you a anecdote about happens on my birthday, and the day after. Well one thing is, that I become a year older, but that happens to everyone I suppose. Though someone used to tell me that women do not get older than 29, so I am not actually getting older, I just repeat it a couple of times.

The other thing I connected in my mind, when I saw the 4th of July fireworks for the first time. I was about 12. And not being US American, or any kind of American, this day does usually not have any meaning to me. I know why it is celebrated but that’s it. Now imagine 12 year old Jessica seeing the fireworks on TV. What does a child think of a Firework that is held a day after their birthday? No idea, but this child thought “OH! They do that for me!”

And so it was born. Ever since then, every year on July 4th I pretend enjoy the celebratory fireworks in my honour. Why they do it a day after my birthday, you ask? Easy, out of respect to not pull any attention from my friends and family who celebrate with me. So we have the 3rd for us and the 4th the sky all over the states lights up for me.

Well I do of course know that it is not the case, but a girl may have some dreams, right? After all, my 12 year old self should not be disappointed.

Do you have something like this? Events that happen completely unrelated to each other but you put them together in some way to make it more awesome? Share with us, I’m curious to hear about them, since I cannot be the only one, right? Right?

Character Interview – Meet Dracon

Dracon
Dracon

Why hello there. Who might you be? Aren’t you lovely, look at that face, these beautiful eyes. I regret I have not come here earlier, now that I know what- no who was waiting for me here. Will you be busy tonight? If not, we could..

Dracon!

Yes, dear? Ah it’s you. I already made the acquaintance of your lovely readers. How stunning they are. Look at this one over there…

Yes, they are fantastic. I am glad you approve. And imagine, they are here for you.

Me? Of course. Who would not want to meet me. Look at me, honey.

Of course. I apologize for the strange welcome. You all have met Alana and Tyler before. Today we have Dracon with us. So Dracon, since you enjoy to talk about yourself so much, why don’t you tell us who you are?

The corner of his mouth twitched, as his long fingers brushed through the shoulder long hair. Very well. As you have heard by now, I am Dracon. I’m a master of illusions, trickery, magic of the mind, the enticing curves of women, the tantalizing spiral of lust..

Dracon.

He raises his hands in defense. All right, all right. I am a demon, an incubus to be precise.

And for how long have you been in Ashwood Falls?

I’ve stopped counting the years, so let us say that I have been there for a very long time. I’ve seen many come and go.

Speaking about that, have you met Alana yet?

Casting a glance, he leaned back, a smirk beginning to form on his lips. Alana. The little gold eyed, raven haired girl. I have indeed. I believe that I am going to have a lot of fun with that one.

What do you mean by that?

His gaze appears to be far away, in thoughts or a dream, maybe both. After being addressed it takes a moment before he blinks and is back in the present. What? Nothing in particular. I believe she is a lovely girl and will fit just well into this small town.

I could have sworn you said…

Leaning forward his one eye dials in on me, a cocky grin on his lips as he interrupts the comment. Why would I want to talk about her, if I could talk about what you and I should do after this interview.

Because there is nothing we will do afterwards.

Ah, come on. You, me, the darkness of the night, some candle lights and music. He approaches me like a hunter its prey. I would love to see if your skin is as soft as it looks.

This interview is over.

He smirks. I knew you would come to your senses.

You will be brought back outside. Thank you for taking the time.

With that Dracon was escorted outside, the ‘cooing’ calls continue until the door is closed behind him.

Now that was different, but what would one expect with an incubus. I should probably remain here for the rest of the night, just to be sure. Now that you met our three main characters of Sra’kalor, the character interviews are coming to a halt for a little, unless we have someone else who would like to speak up. You will be the first to know – well, after me.

If you got curious, about Dracon or more of Sra’kalor, check it out and I’ll see you here again very soon. If you would like to stay up to date, follow the blog, or subscribe to the newsletter, and you won’t miss a thing.

The hat that saw the world

Once upon a time in a land far far away, lived a hat, crocheted by the most beautiful lavender yarn. A special honour had befallen on it, as it was the prize for a generous give-away by a kind hearted yarn-enthusiast. Our lavender hat was really excited, because it would throne on the head of the lucky winner. The day came when the winner was chosen, and the hat wondered, where this strange sounding land named ‘Germany’ would be.

It watched as its maker prepared the details for the travel and it saw that there was a big water between its old and the new home. A long travel, it thought, what a fun that will be!
It didn’t take long when it was bedded carefully in a passed envelope and made itself a temporary home in the cozy folds. Carefully it held on the smaller envelope that had been added inside for the lucky winner across the globe. It could not wait to get on the way and just the next day its journey would start.

When the shaking and wobbling began it peeked through the crack that had been left open, just little but enough to see, and saw it was moving. An exciting tohuwabohu of black moving rubber bands, catapulting so many of its brethren – smaller, bigger and the same – through huge halls, sorted and brought to big trucks, filled and loaded with more of them. It saw a big sign, that said Phoenix and he looked around searching for the fiery bird. But before he could search properly, the big box closed and with a loud rumbling noise they began to shake and vibrate, moving to their next destination. And this happened a few times. It was excited to see all these places with their funny names like Chicago – where did chica go, and who was chica? Was it a letter too? – or Detroit – was it of metal like that shiny golden one with the little beeping friend?.

But it got even more excited when it saw the change from the big boxes rolling over the streets to an even bigger rounder box. It was long and had windows, and wings! The little lavender hat was jumping of joy. It would fly!

For the longest time, almost a full day, it watched the sparkling diamond crusted ocean beneath them, waving at them from afar. The clouds surrounded the big round box like cotton balls, keeping them safe, catching them on their softness if turbulences occurred. When the sparkling blue vanished out of side, the little lavender hat was not sad. It knew more was to come. After the big round box found its way back to the ground the hat heard strange sounds and words, it did not understand. But the big sign above the building let it know that it was in a place called Amsterdam. It giggled listening, they sounded funny. Or maybe they had a cold, the little hat was not sure.

It did not have much time to listen or to watch everything, but soaked in every little bit of its journey. Just a little big later, it was already back on the way, back in another round box, crossing land, green and yellow and small sparkly blues. More funny sounding voices greeted it at the other end, similar to those in Amsterdam but different. And the next morning, the big day was there! It felt the hands grabbing, placed into a bag, not a big box any more. Gently wobbling as it was carried through streets. More hands, as it was handed to someone else, which began to increase the crack in the envelope.

Carefully it was pulled out of the comfortable padding, fingers feeling its softness. With a joyous cry it was lifted to the head of the lucky winner, soft long hair carefully placed between its loops it finally rested on its finally destination. And it could see the smile, a happy one, on its new owners face as she looked into a mirror, placing it carefully, and said “You have seen more of the world that I have. I think you have a lot to tell me!”


 

So yes, I won a giveaway of a hat, that was the kind of hat, I had wanted to have for a long time. Already as a younger girl I saw these and thought how beautiful they are. So when I saw the giveaway I had to enter, and was surprised to be the winner. I have to thank Brie, the lovely maker of ‘The hat that saw the world’ for making my girlhood dream come true. And of course I cannot not write a little story, right?

The little lavender hat
The little lavender hat
The little lavender hat - Side view, so much hair in it!
The little lavender hat – Side view, so much hair in it!
Hi everyone!
Hi everyone!

(Excuse the poor quality, my webcam isn’t the best 😉 )

Brie makes beautiful things with her crocheting, hats, dolls and more. You really should check out her FB page, she also does giveaways – obviously – and she should be known much more than she is. She’s the sweetest and kindest, and a lovely friend of mine. Thank you, Brie. It did not make pictures but the stories it has to tell…

Let’s talk about …

Letstalkabout

Some of you might or might not know, that English is not my first language. If you hadn’t noticed until now: Surprise! So yes, while my grasp of the English language is better than many other Germans can pride themselves with, I do not know everything. Obviously. There might be the one or other grammar mistake even in my blog posts, but I try my best. Either way today it is not about grammar or spelling.

Today we are talking about windows.

Windows? Yes! Windows. Well more about the fun to find out about more of them. So me being a non native speaker I had a moment of “OMG I do not know how to call this” while writing a new chapter of my book. And there are usually three or four ways I try to find out which word I am looking for.

  1. I ask the all knowing man of my dreams, who is usually sitting two meters behind me, just waiting to be able to shine with his knowledge.
  2. Checking the dictionary – I know for some that is the first step but oh well I like hearing his voice more than checking myself.
  3. Type a description of what I am looking for into google and hope that there is something even relating to it.
  4. Ask my native English speaking friends online.

To my utter surprise the first three items on that list failed me, when I tried to find a certain word relating to windows. In German we have a certain word for when the window is opened this way:

Tilted Window

In German that would be “gekippt” or “auf kipp”. Now I could have thought it would be cracking a window, but to write ‘She looked at the cracked window’ could have given a completely wrong impression of the condition of said window and we cannot have that. The direct translation of ‘gekippt’ would be ’tilted’, but as always in situations like that, there is no guarantee that a direct translation is the correct word.

So I went to my online community and asked them. And boy, did I learn things about windows. I was surprised how much we could even talk about that subject. And surprisingly there are way more window types that I knew existed. Now look at this:

Window Types

A few of those I have seen before, others were completely new to me, and not all types of windows are in that graphic either. Either way, according to this the type of window I mean is a Hopper. Now imagine I would write “She looked at the Hopper window.” Maybe for those knowing the name of that specific type that would be good, for me though, not so much. I’d imagine a window with bunny ears hopping around in my house. Yes, not so good, but highly amusing.

So among all the fantastic information about types of windows, in different languages and from all walks of life, the consent was with either “opened” or “tilted”. Oh look my old friend is back. Opened to me looks more like this:

Open window
Open window – Source http://www.shuttersandsunflowers.com

So after everything I went back to where I started and chose tilted. But who would have thought that talking about windows could be not only a long discussion, but also interesting? I have not, but I was wrong.

Anyone out there been going to search for window types for their stories before? What have you found interesting about it? Or have you had other interesting searches for the right word to share with me? I certainly would love to hear about it.

35 hours left of Giveaway Raffle! – ENDED

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED! THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST

There are only 35 hours left of my Giveaway Raffle for 25 (!) ebook copies of Sra’kalor, the first part in the Ashwood Falls Trilogy! giveaway raffle Everyone entering the Raffle until May 20th has a chance to win one of 25 copies in the ebook format of their choice. All you have to do is like my facebook page Journey of words and fill out the form. The winners will be chosen through a random name picker, among those who did both. LIKE the facebook page AND enter the Form. Yes, it is that easy 🙂 Here are the links to everything you need! Facebook page: Journes of words to like! Giveaway Form to fill out! Please share this with your friends, the more the merrier! And good luck to everyone 🙂

Snippets – Prompt #2

It is time for another Snippet! Thank you to those, who have shared their fantastic stories prompted by the first snippet. I really loved seeing what you did with your imagination and creativity. For those among you who are new here, here is how this works:

I am posting a Snippet below. It is something I wrote down at some point and did not develop, but I would love to see get its own life. Then you go and write whatever pops into your mind. You can make it a story about how it came to this, or maybe it is the beginning or the middle. You can write a poem, or anything else that is inspired by the Snippet. If you want, you can share it in the comments, because I would LOVE to see what you did with the Snippet, and show it to everyone. Easy enough, right?

So here we go:

Snippet2

I am looking very much forward to see what you come up with. Also don’t forget my Sra’kalor Giveaway. It’ll run until the 20th so you still got some time to enter. How to do that you can see here.

Stay creative and until next time. 🙂

Giveaway Raffle! Your chance to win your own copy of Sra’kalor! – ENDED

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED! THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST

 

I am super excited to announce a big giveaway raffle for 25 (!) ebook copies of Sra’kalor, the first part in the Ashwood Falls Trilogy!

giveaway raffle

Everyone entering the Raffle from now on until May 20th has a chance to win one of 25 copies in the ebook format of their choice. All you have to do is like my facebook page Journey of words and fill out the form. The winners will be chosen through a random name picker, among those who did both.

Yes, it is that easy 🙂 Here are the links to everything you need!

Facebook page: Journes of words to like!
Giveaway Form to fill out!

Please share this with your friends, the more the merrier! And good luck to everyone 🙂

Fun with Wordle.net

A few friends of mine have been playing around with Wordle.net. It is a fun little tool that takes the words of text, websites, blogs and so on, and makes awesome graphic illustrations with them. Of course, I could not resist making my very own for my coming novel Sra’kalor. Here is the result after playing around with the various settings:

Sra'kalor Wordle

If you want to make your own you can play around with it here: Wordle Website And feel free to share your results in the comments. 🙂