Vince the Hunter

sketch 38 crop

Here’s Vince in the screensaver from the first book in my series I’m working on. He was in the desert collecting speed-cornet lizards, but the photographer for a science magazine told him that was too boring for pictures, so Vince grabbed one of his spears.

Yay Vince!

Here’s a bit of Diana:

Sample

Post-Marriage

Stuart tried to close the bedroom door, but Diana slid into the opening and he wasn’t willing to touch her, so he stepped back and glared.

“Please go away,” Stuart said.

“I want to compare stories. I’m not afraid of you,” Diana said.

“Yeah, obviously. I don’t want to compare stories. It was all made up, anyway,” Stuart said. He clearly wanted to escape the room, but Diana was standing in the doorway. “Please move,” Stuart said.

“I’ll just follow you wherever you go. You can’t get away from me,” Diana said.

Stuart snarled.

Diana studied him and reflected on what was most likely to make him talk. I’ll be the one to go away, she thought, and she ran to the bed, causing Stuart to shout and dart out of the way, grabbed a pillow and blanket, and climbed out of the open window.

Diana did not at all know what Stuart would do, but she was sure he hadn’t expected this. She made a cozy bed near the peak of the roof and settled down, staring up at the black ice above her.

“It’s not even night or anything,” Stuart said. He’d come partway up the roof without her noticing. Diana pretended not to hear him and closed her eyes. Stuart laughed, though it was his old, mean sound, and not at all the nice way the fake him had laughed.

Diana heard the crunch of limping steps, and Stuart sat down several feet away.

She didn’t say anything at all and pretended to be sound asleep. Stuart made a couple of half-hearted opening noises, as if he meant to speak, and then stood up again.

“Stay please,” Diana said.

“Liar, pretending to be all peaceful and asleep. You’re different than the fake you,” Stuart said.

Diana was surprised enough to sit up.

“What do you mean, the fake me?” she asked.

“You don’t remember the pregnant parts, apparently. I asked you how long you’d been here because I want to compare timelines,” Stuart said.

“That’s what I wanted to do before you stomped off,” Diana remarked.

Stuart walked away. Diana, who felt that they were approaching a satisfying conversation, smiled and studied the black ice. Half an hour later, Stuart came back.

“Stop needling at me,” Stuart said.

“No, it’s fun. I will never stop,” Diana said.

Stuart left again. Diana laughed, because she was getting tremendous satisfaction out of exacting revenge on the real Stuart, who apparently had a much better handle on his temper than he’d ever had in his life before.

Two and a half hours later, Stuart came back and sat down. Diana sensed a willingness to talk on his part and so remained very quiet.

Stuart sighed.

“Well, I’ll tell you most of it,” he said, sounding resigned.

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my current novel, a pair of gangsters are trying to throw an impromptu bachelor party for Mr. Weston.

Advertisements

Half a Sketch, ‘Cause Busy

sketch-37.jpg

This is the monarch of Asoan, and it is half a sketch because he’s looking up at Claire and I’m not happy with her half of the picture yet. He’s in the library, though. Ah, layers.

(Which mean I can totally temporarily erase half the picture and work on it later. Ha ha!)

And again, busy, so here’s a bit of Diana:

Sample

The False Past

“I was–I was pregnant?” Diana asked.

“How much do you remember?” Stuart asked.

“Did we–” Diana asked, and then she wasn’t brave enough to finish the question.

“No, it was like, the biggest cut-scene of all time. You were just pregnant, and snappy, and it went on for months. How long have you been here?” Stuart asked.

“You tell me your timeline first. What happened after you got taken away?” Diana asked, sitting on top of the table.

“Don’t sit there, Diana, there are chairs,” Stuart said, scowling.

“Talk,” Diana said.

“Not unless you’re sitting in a chair like a civilized person,” Stuart said. Diana didn’t move. Stuart left the room.

“Stu, come on!” Diana said, laughing a little and following him. He turned around and glared at her.

“This is not a joke to me, Diana,” Stuart snarled, mangling her name as if it had been a very shiny and effective cuss word. Diana kept her eyebrows from climbing, but it was an effort.

“I didn’t say it was a joke. The world is not going to end because I sit on a kitchen table. The world already ended, in fact, as far as I can tell. What happened on your end?” Diana asked.

Stuart stared at her for a long time and she thought it looked like he was trying to stop his left eye from twitching.

“We were married. It was horrible. Now I’m here,” Stuart said, and he turned around and walked away.

Diana followed.

“Do you remember our wedding? Did you just plop suddenly into being married to me? What happened?” Diana asked. Stuart appeared to get angrier with every word she spoke, and Diana half suspected that he was going to explode and start punching walls, or her.

“Nothing happened. It was all a head game. I’m going to bed,” Stuart said, and he paused on the stairs to glare down at her. “Don’t follow me,” he added, trying really hard to look threatening.

Diana followed him anyway.

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my current novel, someone who has been wanting to for a long time is about to ride on a hover bike. (Yay!)

Character Doodle

sketch 35 small

Here is a woman who is in one of my science fiction books. She’s awesome. Yay fun characters!

Fun fact: I was drawing this while flux was on, so I didn’t realize I was turning the sky green. I like it, though.

Once, a long time ago, a really wicked sort of producer tried to use me as the acting version of a whipping boy, and I said “Nope,” and quit the project. It was satisfying, because I stood up for myself to the director and I think he felt pretty stupid afterwards.

Ha ha! In other news, I am thinking about scrubbing the windows.

Here’s some more Diana:

Sample

Another Deal With Aliens

The large, thick alien looked at Diana, and then turned to stare at Stuart.

“Look, life mates,” the alien said in a much smoother voice than the others had used. The alien waited, as if to see if either Diana or the young man would protest the use of this term. Neither of them did, so the alien drew a deep breath and went on. “Here we are in the domicile. Less interruptions would be ideal. Don’t touch her,” the alien said, pointing a long, misshapen limb at Stuart.

“I wasn’t going to,” Stuart said, scowling.

“Stop being boring,” the alien said, pointing at Diana, who smiled. The alien appeared to perform a manner of sigh. “What do you want, human?” the alien asked.

“Stop interfering and I’ll show you home. And I don’t even know if he’s real,” Diana said, nodding towards Stuart.

“He is. You have one week. We come down if hurting,” the alien said.

“What?” Stuart asked, but the alien was already gone.

“I think he was concentrating, and he stopped trying to speak coherently at the end. He means they’ll interfere if we beat each other up,” Diana said, eyeing Stuart.

“How long have you been here?” Stuart asked.

“I’m in charge, Stu,” Diana said.

“Yeah, I put that together for myself after they stuffed me in a plastic sleeve for an indeterminate space of time and pilfered my mind for astral projection or some crap like that,” Stuart said, practically spitting with irritation.

Diana studied Stuart, who seemed, she thought, to look kind of resentful.

“Did you actually experience all this, then?” Diana asked.

“The kissing? Yep,” Stuart said, looking angry.

“Oh,” Diana said. She hadn’t expected this development at all.

“And I was there for all the part with the baby. You’re snappy when you’re pregnant,” Stuart said.

“What?!” Diana exclaimed. Stuart raised an eyebrow at her, and her face turned extremely red.

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my current book, a couple of bodyguards are going to manufacture some special engine parts.

Another Wing Study

pra bird

So I had an acting teacher once who was annoyed with my cheekbones.

Color Me Elven Or Something

They’re good cheekbones.

She didn’t like how pretty they were, so she decided that I had a problem with smiling too much on stage, and she would give me feedback on scenes that mainly focused on how she had decided I was breaking character by smiling.

Yeah.

Victor Poole, You And Your Pretty Face!

She wasn’t a very nice person. ‘Cause I’m highly photogenic when smiling. Thanks, cheekbones.

One time I had an assigned Shakespeare scene in her class and the whole thing went off really well. My scene partner did a good job, and I was all gorgeous and perfect and everything. The teacher scowled the whole time and couldn’t find anything to criticize, since it was a falling-in-love scene and required, obviously, plenty of smiling.

This Woman Wanted Me Droopy And Frowny

She did make sure that I never got a good scene like that to work on again. She wanted to be sure I was playing very old or chubby characters who needed to cry a lot.

Unfortunately for her ego, I was good at that, too.

Ah, terrible acting teachers.

Topic Change!

Here’s some Diana:

Sample

The Real Stuart

Stuart came into the yard and the black ice doorway closed up with another heavy clunk.

Diana stood on the porch, her broom in her hand, and waited to see what he would say or do.

Stuart drew a deep breath, which seemed to cost him a little, and walked partway across the concentric garden, stopping in the midst of the large, vibrant plants.

“I am sorry, Diana Vassel, for touching your arm after I promised to obey you,” Stuart said, his eyes flashing with rage and his mouth in a malevolent line.

Diana nodded and went back into the house, leaving the broom out on the porch. She really wasn’t sure what to do with herself. She was quite sure this was the real Stuart. He was angry, the way he’d always been, and looked as raw and frustrated as he’d appeared when he’d walked through the snow with her months ago.

She didn’t know what he was going to be like, as the nice Stuart she’d gotten to know was apparently a figment of her mind, or some trick the aliens had conjured up.

I can’t trust him, Diana told herself, and she kept her hands from trembling as she opened the fridge in the kitchen and took out a couple of empty plates. There were floating alien lights in the house, and water from the faucets, but no power, and Diana had taken to using the fridge as a more convenient cupboard, as the ones above the counters were annoying for her to reach.

Stuart came into the doorway and folded his arms.

“How long have you been here?” Stuart asked.

Diana didn’t know how she felt at the moment, or what she wanted to say. She’d thought a lot over the last two months, since she’d found out that the Stuart she’d thought she’d been kissing had been fake, and she was not at all sure that there was anything real about that Stuart, as far as the personage being a representation of what this Stuart, the real Stuart, could be like.

She looked at the bruised and exhausted boy across the room and felt as if she was looking at both Stuarts, the angry, remorselessly violent one, and the new, trustworthy and devoted one. A faint potential of the nicer Stuart was in the young man’s eyes, but Diana didn’t trust it at all.

“I have food,” Diana said, ignoring his first question. Stuart’s eyebrows lifted and his mouth turned in an angry smile. “Are you hungry?” Diana asked.

“Hungry for answers, sure. No, I don’t want food,” Stuart said.

A crack of power made the light in the kitchen flicker, and a large alien, much thicker and heavier than the others Diana had seen, appeared.

You’re reading Victor Poole, and I’m going over past drafts with list-making in mind, to ensure coherency in the next scenes.

Weather Exp

 

sketch 34

This turned out too dark, but I like the water.

I finally finished the new draft of my dragon book yesterday, but I’ve got a little padding and description to put in still. (Narg! Bleh! But hooray all the same : P)

And here is some Diana:

Sample

An Investigation

Diana now suspected more than ever that the air within the frozen bubble was drugged, and she had half a mind to hold her breath in an effort to irritate the aliens. She walked around the circumference of the ice that surrounded the house and then went inside and hunted around for tools, which she could not find.

Oh, they probably have some in the shed, Diana reflected, and she went back outside. Diana was delighted to find a sledgehammer tucked into a back corner of the shed, and she went out and had just lifted the heavy hammer, which was a struggle for her, when the implement vanished.

“Oh, poo,” Diana muttered, closing her hands on empty air. She frowned at the thick ice, as it was cloudy and no longer as solid as it had been. The ice had almost turned see-through earlier, but Diana had never gotten the chance to examine the bubble then, and she leaned closer and cupped her hands against the ice to shield the light.

The ice turned black.

“Seriously?” Diana called, looking up at the now ebony material of the high arching orb that encased her. She sighed, putting her hands on her hips and looking around the yard.

Well, if they’re really going to trap me here, Diana thought, and she sat down to weed the concentric vegetable garden.

Two months passed, by Diana’s count, before anything interesting happened. She was in the middle of sweeping the front porch when, with a heavy thunk, a door appeared in the black ice, and Stuart stumbled through.

He had heavy bruises on either temple where Diana had seen the wires going into his skin, and his eyes were bleary and red. He looked exhausted, and when he saw Diana, his mouth moved into a furious scowl.

This, Diana thought, was most probably the real Stuart.

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my current novel, projections are being made over the likely fallout of Jenni Tinnels living in the building with all the generous old men who were so rabid for a grandchild.

Yes, I forgot to title this. Merg.

sketch 33

Here are a couple of guys roasting a golden-furred rabbit in Tupseneg, which is a place I made up. ‘Cause I write novels, yo.

And here’s some Diana:

Sample

A More Intimate Negotiation

“How much does Stuart see? How much does he know?” Diana asked.

“That is not the correct-like question. You must ask for yourself,” the alien said.

Diana could have said a few sharp things about how she felt the aliens could take their ideas of what she must do and shove them somewhere, but she restrained herself.

“Where’s Stuart now?” Diana asked.

“Ask for yourself, Diana Vassel. Programming will begin again,” the alien said.

She wanted to ask what the aliens were getting out of this. She wanted to run a few experiments and see what emotion, if any, she could rouse in the alien’s eyes. Diana had the sense, however, that she was about to run out of time.

“Why me?” Diana asked.

The alien’s eyes gleamed a little and something that she supposed could have been a smile stretched its mouth, which ran across one cheek and over the hump of the alien’s nose.

“We run trials. You substantiate a lonely quality we value. Now that you have paid, you may ask about the companion,” the alien said.

Apparently I pay for things with honest questions, Diana reflected, and she licked her lips.

“Where is Stuart, really? What state is he in?” Diana asked.

“Those are two questions. Time is up,” the alien said.

“Who am I?” Diana asked quickly, before the blankness around them could fade away. The alien tilted its head to one side and studied Diana for a long moment before raising one hand.

A long, stiff tube of something like plastic appeared next to the alien. Stuart was inside, his eyes closed, a pair of wires running into his temples and his body squished against the material of the tube.

Diana’s heart flipped over, and she scrambled for another honest question to ask.

“Where will I go when I die?” Diana demanded. The alien’s eyes got, she had to admit to herself, sort of friendly and soft.

“One more question about your companion, then, that I will answer. Then programming will resume,” the alien said.

“How much of this has Stuart been present for?” Diana asked.

“We took him when he touched your body the first time. He has not been with you since,” the alien said, and the alien, the tube containing Stuart, and the blank expanse melted away, leaving Diana in darkness.

In half a moment, she found herself standing in the yard of the house the aliens had called the domicile, eggplant-like plants surrounding her in concentric circles and the bubble of ice arcing over her head.

Well, Diana thought, breathing in the warm scent of spicy home that pervaded the air.

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my current novel, Claire is battling shadows (with magic, of course).

Why yes, I am cranky today : )

sketch 29 small.jpeg

Here is a picture of some of the hunting party lounging about in [name redacted because I can’t make up my mind about which swamp they’re in]. But yay, hunting party.

I’m navigating my fraught relationship to myself and drawing (grumble grumble, etc.), which is why I’m cranky. Not super cranky, but still registering on the Frustration-O-Meter.

Here is some Diana:

Sample

A Mystery

Diana began to wonder if the aliens knew that she could see what was happening when they froze time around her. She decided to try an experiment, and leaned forward as much as her bonds would allow.

“Stuart, I missed you,” Diana said, sounding perfectly sincere. She just had time to register the look of shocked consternation in Stuart’s eyes before everything froze again. Diana’s mind went dark.

This time Diana woke up in a different place entirely. She was sitting on a white couch in a small, cluttered house, and the sound of whistling and running water was in a nearby room.

Okay, Diana thought, and she stood up and wandered to the doorway where the sound was coming through.

Stuart was at the sink, apparently doing dishes, and a very fat, jolly looking baby was in a bouncer on the floor. Diana felt a flash of absolute rage and went back into the room she’d woken in.

“Excuse me. Hello! I’d like to have another production meeting, guys,” Diana said, glaring up at the ceiling, which was slightly crooked.

Nothing happened.

“Hello! Hey!” Diana shouted. Stuart appeared in the doorway.

“Babe, who’re you talking to?” Stuart asked.

“Where did that infant come from? Do you know?” Diana demanded, glaring at Stuart, who looked—older. Diana stepped back.

“Um, he’s ours. Are you okay, Di?” Stuart asked, coming towards her.

Diana, in this moment, felt a few conflicting emotions, the chief of which was a desire to run screaming out of the house. As she guessed this dwelling would also be encased in a bubble of ice, she figured this wasn’t really an option.

Diana wanted to tell Stuart to get away, and to have a long and potentially violent argument over the provenance of the baby in the kitchen, but she ran a few swift mental calculations and figured that this was not going to earn the approval of the aliens or get her any closer to finding out what was happening.

So although it ran against every natural instinct in her body, Diana went to meet Stuart and cuddled into his arms, which he was quite prompt in putting around her.

“I guess I’m just tired, Stu. Babies are so exhausting, don’t you think?” Diana asked.

Everything vanished. Diana looked up and found herself back in the blank white place, but this time there was a very aggravated alien standing several yards away and glaring at her.

“Diana Vassel, you do not play along correctly. We are on scheduling that requires prompt—you—our people have waiting lines. You hold us up!” the alien said.

Well, this is progress, Diana thought, and she folded her arms and glared at the frustrated alien.

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my current novel, a certain very large gangster is about to pull strings and get favors from the [also redacted] government reserve.