Saturday, November 12, 2011

Behind the scenes: Making of Zombie Cake!

Gushing with much anticipation I made a video about making of Zombie cake video in an attempt to improve my video making skills. The video is about two minutes long and I got excited with showing how I made some of my music.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

All My Favorite Zombies

What I like about zombie fiction is that they explore the the fine line between life and death and ask how did this happen? How will I survive?

Dead Party written Shah Wharton is my favorite zombie story. Our heroine develops an extraordinary ability: to survive. She blossoms from a mild mannered girl next door to a strong survivor who finds herself doing things she wouldn't before zombies have transformed the U.K. Darwinism is on steroids while legions of the undead roam cafes while exerting their political ambitions and teeth on residents. Recruiting all zombies now for the Dead Party.

I Zombie I written by Jack Wallen.
A journalist named Jacob chronicles his descent into becoming a zombie while holding onto to his humanity. He awakens in Munich in a kind of morbid snow globe with falling ash that he later realized was human skin. He falls in love with a hacker named Bethany. It's on Kindle and free!

Goddamn Redneck Surfer Zombies by Michael Jasper
Hope springs eternal in Long Beach, North Carolina. Nude zombies mingle among locals asking for directions in this feel good story. An old fisherman wonders how did this came to be? Is it the pull of the moontides or an apocalyptic sign? Wait... Here comes a zombie dragging a coffin.
It is a short story on Kindle and free!

I enjoyed reading zombie fiction so much that I baked a Zombie cake.

Zombies also have been known to raise awareness for a good cause like the Zombie Walk in Shreveport, La.

Zombies have also promoted emergency preparedness. What would you need in an emergency?

Happy Reading!

Happy Halloween! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Torque to Descent (poem)

Slipping from the stiff as a board
white out that envelops her existence
the fabric of her reality unravels
spinning out of control
she makes her descent a crash landing
due to the torque on a slippery reed like surface
arpeggio legs syncopate and
fingers narrowly miss the eight-legged ballerina.

Jumping into the hypnotic pools of her Kindle
she blows the descending spider away
with her hot hurricane breath.
Fingers hit the home button
scanning the horizon for collections
hoping to see a familiar face
she selects one of her numerous zombie stories

Inside everything is black and white like a film noire
shadows populate by amorphous moans
struggling to battle fatigue
the dude drags his leg
the sweet smell of doughnuts bekon him
he sinks his teeth into the screaming pastry.
Why, where is that sound coming from?
Repulse, rachet, torque
the raspberry filled doughnut spills inky black pools on the floor.

I hope you enjoyed my spooky poem. :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Tiny Story

I recently submitted my tiny story at which is a collaborative production company.
I have enjoyed reading many tiny stories which are shorter than flash fiction at website.

Here is my tiny story:

Tiny Descent

Running over crushed velvet

remains of the rancid peach

carefully unwinding her spool

the eight legged ballerina

begins her descent.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Are We There Yet? ( a poem about writing)

Are We There Yet?
Following a map
using my hopes and dreams
as a guide
the occasional markings
of frustration splatter my windshield
like fresh puree and insect wings
in those I see potential
If I could fly...

A sonorous wind
of a teasing angel
sings choral atonality
adjusting modulation
after the storm
the calm brings clarity
the beauty I see
before me
a perfection
of chiaroscuro
dark and pearly light
clouds bathe in gold rays
cummulous covers the
bare ruby mountains
antique gold ribbon
wraps my plateau
a hush
I take it all inside

How do you feel when someone asks how's your writing?

I turn beet red then I feel inspired to chisel at my writer's block. I continue writing my first novel. Frustration is part of the writing process, but eventually it will be a scifi novel.

Happy Writing! :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

My Knitting Hobby

I hope you had a Happy Fourth of July! Someone asked me what is your hobby? I said knitting. The sweater in the photo is one I knitted a few years ago. It is made of 100% wool full of bobbles and cables which makes it in Aran style knitting and the design came from Vogue knitting magazine. I even made my own four inch cable needle out of bamboo skewer which I tapered both ends and waxed and buffed it.

People worry about the economy and ABC has been airing their "Made in America" series. I wondered what kind of a business I could do? Well, I could knit berets. Knitting uses a pair or two needles and good yarn. That's it. It is a delightful craft that uses less tools than woodworking or making stoneware clay mugs. I admire ceramics, but you need a kiln, a room to get wet and dirty, a potter's wheel and a sturdy shelf to dry or even a humid room to dry it slowly. Otherwise, ceramics is very beautiful.

I am slowly chiseling my way out of writer's block. For many months I was stuck on chapter 13. So far, I have written chapter 21. Writing my novel and composing music are my two passions. Just when I got happy I felt worried because I realize I need to write about 20 more chapters so my book can grow to about 400 pages. Oh, Lordy, Lordy.

Who are the women who knit in fiction? So far I can think of one a great amateur sleuth developed by writer Agatha Christie. Miss Marple would think about clues and supects while she knitted with yarn and a pair of knitting needles.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Fight with Writer's Block

It has been a long time since I wrote a blog and I missed you folks. I send you virtual hugs. :)
I encountered writer's block so I chose to chisel that block one word at a time. I kept chiseling at the block till I wrote another chapter in my first novel.

Where did I go while I was away? I visited a cyber library and checked out free sheet music at the Petrucci Library. It is a huge library that contains about 95,000 scores from over 5,000 composers. There are also many recordings.

I picked up Fur Elise music sheet from The Mutopia Project and played it many times. I was surprised that my fingers remembered how to play a song that I hadn't played for twenty years! Actually I hadn't played any music till last December. I found playing with my keyboard helps soothe the numerous frustrations that had been following me.

What else had I been doing with my time? I've been trying to write a song for months and hit an impass so I decided to lighten things up by doing a techno/ piano mashup.

I hope you enjoy my music video. :)

I hope to blog more frequently. Hopefully by next weekend I will post a blog.

Happy Writing!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pushing Snow

Last week I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone. I took a quick break from writing my novel. I decided to enter a contest even though I had only one week to compose a few bars of music, sing and make a decent video. That was serious crunch time! What was I thinking? My comfort zone includes playing a few notes on the keyboard and mixing sounds with my DAW. I never was comfortable with the activity of singing. I decided to do the video in the name of fun. I wished to film my perfomace on a lawn full of fresh snow. I was lucky. It snowed three days in a row. I shoveled so much snow that on filming day I felt light headed from all the shoveling. Okay, maybe I was giddy with the excitment of getting out of my comfort zone and singing infront of the camcorder. I ventured outside. It was 24 F and windy! I wore my downfilled parka, ear muffs, long pants, cashmere sweater and my face was freezing! After one take I ran inside. My senses were numb from the cold. I took a look at the video and I couldn't stop giggling. My pants jiggled so much from the breeze that it looked as if my legs were made of rubber and I could dance!

I won't post the video till the contest is over.

My next post will be about Steampunk artists and how they inspire us to write Scifi, Steampunk or fantasy genre. I will also include writing prompts.

Happy Writing!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Spare Time

In my spare time I like to try new things. I took four photos and stitch them vertically with GIMP software ( free open source). Each photo is 640 x 420 pixels. I took the photos with a low resolution camera ( camera binoculars which I purchased for $ 20 ). I wanted to proove that you don't need an expensive camera to take beautiful photos. I was walking in my neighborhood when I took this picture. Too often I stare at the dry sagebrush and complain how dry and twiggy it looks. The soil is pure clay. When I look at my photo I realize that I live in a beautiful place even though the winter lasts 7 months and there are no trees. It is interesting that I needed a mechanical device, my camera, to tell me about beauty.

In my spare time I also like searching for freebies, contest, tutorials, poetry and beauty.

Pssst....check out my previous blog Aviary's 30 Days of Roc Contest.

Happy Writing and enjoy your spare time!

Aviary's Roc Contest

Woohoo! I am so excited to tell everyone that is having a contest called the Thirty Days of Roc! Yeah! The prizes include iTunes gift card for the winners. There is NO FEE to enter the contests. Create your music with Roc software, which is an online music making software. Creating music is simple with Roc because you only download the wav or mp3 file which you create. Blue dot means note on.

Every day is a new contest with different instruments. Aviary will be posting their brand new instruments for each day of the contests which lasts a total of 30 days. Okay 6 days past so as of today there are 24 days left to participate. Hurry! Once you compose your song with Roc software you submit your entry at their sister site If you are making your own book trailer this is a good way to explore their 50 new instruments and if you enter each new contest you will build a nice portfolio of your own music.

Yesterday, I tried their Kitchen Sink and Bird instruments. Their approach to percussive instruments is absolute genius. I really enjoyed their Teacup for its crisp sound and the Cutting Board for its soft drum like thump. I found the Swan's voice paints an eerie scene. The owl has a soft breathy voice.

Am I participating? Yes, because it's fun and and will explore sound and music in the process. Here is link to my song "Do the Beet Juice" created with Roc.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Book trailer: Diamond Eyes

You can read the book review at The Fringe Magazine .

This book trailer is a good example of what a book trailer can accomplish through music, graphics, photos and illustrations. It is more than a sum of it's parts for it opens the door with a friendly wave into the protagonist's dark world and compelling obstacles. The music is chromatic which conveys the feeling of mystery. Words define the protagonist: a young blind woman who can solve crimes!

P.S. I would like to know which book trailers have caught your attention.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Book Review: The Evolution of Fashion vs. Dress Design

It's 5 a.m. You wake up and decide to write a historical novel or scifi/ fantasy novel set in a different world. What are your characters going to wear? If you watch Buck Rogers (TV series) and wonder where does princess Ardala get her horn headdress? Where the sisters of Paul Atreide's mom get their steeple hats in the movie "Dune"? What is the source of such fashion?

You can these strange fashions in the ebook "Evolution of Fashion" written by Florence Mary Gardiner in 1897. She writes a delightful book with illustrations, sharp wit and sprinkles it with poetry. You can download this book (many forms including Kindle)from Project Gutenberg for free! The middle ages contains a panorama of extreme fashions which includes steeple and horny hats for women, long pointy shoes. I draw this example of a long shoe that lifts the toes with a long chain that attaches around the calf. Fathom a room full of guests in such attire. Ahhh...It's not time travel, but the next best thing.

"Dress Design" written by Talbot Hughes is available for download (free) at the Gutenberg Project. This author includes beautiful photos of real women wearing historical clothing. The author writes with fashion designers in his mind by including drawings of patterns for clothing. Beauty is the embroidery that flourishes on crisp fabrics that have endured through time. The book covers clothing from 500 A.D. to 1875.

Which one should you download? Both! Both are free. Florence Mary Gardiner gives a more touching account about humanity with bridal and funeral customs in different countries. Both authors despise the chignon hairstyle! Wow! Really? I googled the chignon hairstyle: a roll of hair bunched at the neck....hmm...

Please check out my 25 second animation "Stomp" which features medeval shoe.

Thank you for reading my blog! Hugs and smiles!

I am
to let my peeps know that blog hop is on! Just follow the links below.

I also had fun visiting Froggarita.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My First Animation with GIMP

feature length: 25 seconds

This is a Raven's Art Shack exclusive peek at Blink.

The simplest form of animation involves the blinking of eyes. You need only two frames, one for closed eyes and one for open eyes. An animated .gif needs a minimum of two layers. I drew the original with red ball point on loose leaf paper. I captured her image with my digital camera and closed her eyes with the smudge tool from GIMP software (open source and free to download). I added the original image as a layer. I select save image as Blink with extension .gif. The window pops up and asks if I want to flatten or save as animation. If I flatten the image it will be a still picture. I select save as animation. I pump up the delay to 368 milliseconds and 410 milliseconds for the second animation. I select to completely replace the frame. Voila I have created my first animated .gif! Yeah!

Making an animated .gif picture is simple with Windows movie maker. Upload the picture to the software. Click and drag the image to the timeline. Each image takes about 5 seconds of timeline. I composed 25 seconds of music using LMMS software (open source and free to download) using about 12 bars of music at 140 bpm.

Why create an animated gif? This kinetic art form is simple and fun to create. In the future I plan to make my own book trailer after I finish writing my first novel.

P.S. Welcom blog hoppers!