Saturday, May 30, 2015

Rhonda Byrne's Hero

Okay. So let’s keep it 100% funky. You all know about Rhonda Byrne. If you were alive in 2006, and well outside of pre-school, then you’re familiar with this lady. She’s the creator of The Secret–both the film and book. And while her philosophies, ideas, and self-help methods were nothing new (start by looking up Ester Hicks); it ushered in a tsunami of law of attraction seekers looking to reclaim their lives with the power of positive thinking. From Oprah to the New York Times bestsellers, Byrne and her Secret were everywhere. She became global, with her book translated in over 50 languages while selling double-digits by millions. Naturally, when someone reaches an audience this wide and varied with a belief so nonconformist, controversy comes intact. Therefore, while those following Byrne believed they could create change in their lives with positive thinking (financial or otherwise), there were those who felt Byrne's belief created harm by deluding those who followed it.

When it comes to self-help and positive thinking, I take a more Louise Hay approach. However, that’s not to negate that I didn’t find Hay via the popularity of The Secret. I was working at Borders in 2006; I saw the crowds, processed the orders, stocked the shelves, and shared conversations with excited consumers of The Secret. I even fought with a manager about The Secret’s relevance and system. So, yes, I indulged in The Secret's fame and ideas.   I believed that maybe I could find my way into an art school, own a reliable laptop, and find a better job by applying Byrne’s borrowed principles. Except for one other desire, that I shall not name, I can say eventually the things I wanted to create happened. Was it The Secret? I can’t say because they all happened in their own time.

Nonetheless, I lost touch with The Secret as I moved into Louise Hay’s territory. I even sold my copy of the book to put gas in my car for a trip home. A couple of years ago, I restocked my shelf when I found it at a used bookstore. Just for safekeeping, I suppose.

I don’t like to make any claims without specific examples. I don’t like to push, but rather suggest.  But what I will say, and stand behind as it concerns The Secret, is that life is so much better when you at the very least give yourself some kind of hope and will to believe. So I may not quite realize whether positive thinking can bring me a bouquet of flowers, but I can appreciate rearranging my thoughts and emotions outside of the doldrums of negativity.  Negativity is poison.  And if you dislike being around someone who wallows in it, then chances are that sometimes include yourself.  

This leads me to Byrne’s latest (I think out of four publications), Hero. It became my bedtime read, or something to relax with.  What Byrne and her new team of influential people do in Hero is map readers along a path headed toward his or her personal idea of success. It’s nowhere near as industrial or even utilitarian as it sounds, so don’t expect anything close to something written by Robert Kiyosak or Napoleon Hill. No, Hero is a lot softer; but, frankly, heavily clichéd. That’s not to say it isn’t inspiring–as the true gem comes from Byrne’s success team sharing their personal stories. However, as the material goes, I would file it under a “heard it all before” heading. Though worth the retelling, I should add. Seriously, this stuff never gets old.

Byrne splits Hero into parts, and uses the Hero’s Journey monomyth as the layout to deliver. So there’s the induction of you–the hero–being called to adventure (realizing your dream).  From there you'll refuse the call, take on tests and tasks, gain allies and make enemies, and then hit the road back home to help others. All of this, once again, implemented with stories and ideas relating what we face on the path toward our dreams. And like I said, it’s all very cliché. Anyone picking up this book should know by now the importance of being true to yourself. Or following your bliss toward success. The same can be said for the importance of practicing gratitude in the face of adversity. As well as believing in yourself when the “chips are down.” (See what I did there?) The chapter on naysayers and allies breeds the same overused message of ignoring those pesky negative Nancy people, and fostering good relationships with those who are in support of you.  So like I said, all of this and more are present and in use here.  Also, there are no definitive tools and exercises given to either combat obstacles or uphold your stance on staying on the "hero’s path."  However, there are suggestions–though what I saw as light and apparent ones. 

There are no degrees to reading and applying self-help books.  So I saw Hero as something more for those dedicated to Byrne post The Secret, or those new to self-help as a whole. Then again, it’s perfect for people like myself that need a burst of motivation during a trying time.

And in saying that, I must share my favorite passages from the book before I have to return it to the library.

When we see someone follow their dream, we can get the mistaken idea that they must have had privileges to be able to do it.  In fact, it happens the other way around; it's when you decide to take the leap into the Hero's Journey that the privileges come.  When you commit to your dream, it's as though any person who can help you with your dream is summoned by the Universe to be right there for you with everything you need at the exact time you need it.
If your commitment begins to waver at any time on the Hero's Journey, through disappointment, rejected, or something that didn't go the way you thought it would go, those are the times when you need to remind yourself that you are always being moved to your dream in the way that will bring about the greatest outcome.
Unless you want to wake up and do the same thing every day, you need to be a fighter.  You need to be a warrior if you want to make a difference, if you want to be significant.  I wanted to be significant.  I wanted to do things that would change my life, and would change people's lives.  I cannot be ordinary.
When your work is your bliss, you will be happy.  Doing a job you think you should do instead of doing what you love is leading a false life.  So many precious people are living a life that has been put upon them by well-meaning parents, teachers, or society, or even by a friend or partner, and they're miserable.  We're seeing the evidence of the misery in people through the alarming increase of mental health problems in the world.  Shut out what everyone else thinks, have the courage to follow your own bliss, and you will be immensely happy.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.  And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven't found it yet, keep looking and don't settle.
Many people give up on their dreams or don't even begin to pursue them because from where they are standing they can't see the whole path to their dream.  You will never see the whole path ahead, and so you will never know how your dream is going to come true.  No successful person has ever known how his or her dream would happen.  They simply believed that it would happen, and did not give up until it had.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Let's Play: The Evil Within ~ The Assignment

I’m always hyped and down for a strong female lead in any form of media. So without a doubt, one of the best sources of such is in video games. That’s why I’m really loving The Evil Within’s Juli Kidman, and is extra pleased that she has received two DLC (downloadable content) packages to further her character, as well as the core game's story.

Now I don’t want to get into talking about The Evil Within too much. My brief history is that I finally played the game back in December (picked it up in a Redbox first) and thought it was awesome. Except for a handful of technical and story flaws, it was a thrilling entry in the survivor horror genre. I found myself so wrapped in it that I felt that teenage nostalgia series like Resident Evil and Silent Hill built in me. When I upgraded to a PS4 in February, I decided to get The Evil Within again (there’s nothing really out there to play anyway). So I enjoyed the game a second time. Whether it’s surviving zombie hordes, upgrading for bigger battles, or collecting trophies, The Evil Within remains an unforgettable experience. And that’s how I like my games. I need plenty to go after and strong replay value.

As for the newly release DLC, we switch from the core game’s protagonist, Sebastian, and step into his “partner” Kidman. And she is a treat, stomping around with a hostler and stilettos within gameplay that damn near switches completely away from the core game's methods of survival.  Juli operates off stealth and a flashlight.  She's disarmed for most of her scenarios–while finding herself hunted by one of the most macabre game development creatures ever.  And said creature sends my blood pressure through the roof throughout each encounter.  Which only means I'm enjoying myself.  Still, seeing how one-sided Juli appeared as a character within the core story, her four-chapter package shines a light on how she should be recognized as not only a dynamic character, but also a viable hero to The Evil Within.  Honestly, alone, the revelation concerning her background and how she got into her current situation should breed some kind of sympathy for her. 

I knew there was something more too Juli from the jump.  I remember at her appearance in the opening sequence of the core game how I immediately blurted I'd prefer playing as her.  Her DLC package will do, though.  Here it is with the first part of her chapter, The Assignment. On to my replay of the experience…

Monday, May 25, 2015

Inspirational Library Haul

Hero by Rhonda Byrme
How Did I Get Here? by Barbara De Angelis
Infinite Possibilities by Mike Dooley

You know how you’re just cruising along on auto-pilot until you spot something that catches your attention?  Something you feel like you may need.  Okay, yeah.  That’s what happened at the library over the weekend.  I went there to get my usual quiet time (which was a success) and came home with a stack of self-help books.  I’m always there for an inspiring word and change of direction.  And considering I’ve been sucking at fiction lately, I came home with these four.

Everyone’s familiar with Rhonda Byrne.  She’s the author of the famed, The Secret.  It's the book all about manifestation and the law of attraction.  It’s been a minute since I’ve read The Secret, so Hero seemed like a neat choice.  In Hero, she talks more or less about being such in our own lives.  Or acknowledging and taking responsibility for the life we’re given.

Laura Day’s How to Rule the World From Your Couch is all new to me; the author and her unique perspective on self-help.  She takes an intuition approach, with exercises for change taken from your couch.  Sounds interesting.

How Did I Get Here? by Barbara De Angelis has kind of been on my self-help list since forever.  I just never got to her, until I was pulled to her book at the library.  Anyway, her book is an inspirational handbook that tackles all the areas of our lives in which we suddenly find ourselves asking, “how did I get here?”  I don’t know about you, but that question pops up frequently in my inner dialogues.

I love Mike Dooley.  If you’re not familiar with his daily “Message from the Universe” emails, then get familiar with them.  Sometimes, they’re exactly the motivation I need when I wake up.  So while I’ve followed Mike for awhile on Youtube and Facebook, I’ve never read a book by him.  Infinite Possibilities seemed… well… possible.

That’s it.  I'm happy to say I’m shifting into this arena for awhile to refuel my inspirational pool and take a break (because I seemed broke) from fiction until the Summer.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Another Michael's Haul

Evidently, (because I don't check my emails) Michael’s is having a 20% off Memorial Day weekend discount on all purchases. I didn’t know that until the cashier scanned a coupon for me, turning my total from $20+ to $18. That seemed to be a positive sign from the Universe. Had I sat on my ass all day–hungry and confused about my next move–I might have missed such a deal. Nonetheless, running dangerously close to having absolutely no paper to draw on, I made a quick run and will now do another haul to show you guys what I like to work with.

First, I needed another pad of Bristol board. Sometimes, I can’t imagine how I used copier paper before I discovered how necessary this type of paper is. It’s smooth and heavyweight. Furthermore, pencil and ink love it. Unless you're using some insane amount of unnecessary force, erasing doesn’t scratch up the board either.

I forgot a vinyl eraser during my last haul, or at least one for the sketching process. I love vinyl because it does a clean job erasing, and can erase just about anything if you finesse just enough. So there aren't any pink streaks like with rubber erasers, or any gum crumbs from a gum eraser (which I do use for another purpose). As seen in the image, I use extra soft Facts white vinyl erasers.

Last time I went to Michael's I ordered myself not to step into the scrapbook aisle. This time, I wandered in. I browsed around for a bit–my imagination going wild–and settled on two sheets of this brick-themed scrapbook paper. I got some cool ideas in mind for them.  They were 59 cents apiece so I grabbed two just in case. One day, I’m going to let myself loose in the scrapbook aisle. Until then, I’ll try to use what I’ve already stashed.

So that’s it. I made up a little from my last Michael’s trip.  However, I wish I was willing to pay $36 for a portfolio, because I need one desperately. So for those who love to draw, I hope my personal go-to tools will come in use should you seek recommendations. I can’t wait to share whatever it is I come up with after using these three.

Until then, always remember it doesn’t matter what you use, only that you complete whatever it is you’re doing!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Battle of the Covers: Kidglove-style vs. Saucy-style



No drawing description necessary.  Or at least not with this one.  This is what happens when you try to create your own ebook cover.  You try and try again to find the right look.  So far I've gotten two, and I think I'm sticking with the second one (saucy).  The first one seemed to be going well, but it just didn't connect with me at the end.  First, she just didn't seem to hit me as a black character.  I didn't see that until the very end.  And it's true when they say that sometimes drawings take on their own–we just have to listen to them.  Second, I embellished too much around her eyes.  

I realized that I should do all the embellishing through the computer.  So I sauced her up some with a re-drawing to better fit the character.  And I did all the extended work in PhotoFiltre.

However, the saucy image got to be too much also (should I share the original final version?).  I got to make changes and keep her eyes simpler–as I'd learned my lesson the first time around.

Anyway, I'm on my way to work and wanted to keep this post quick.  Any questions, leave in the comments.  Also vote which do you think would make a cool ebook cover.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Why I Haven't Been Reading...

I am 16 days into May, and haven’t completed a book yet! And it’s torture. It truly is. Life. Life. Life. It’s always there. And while I’m not one to claim stress (because I believe we perceptive and own what we will), there is definitely something going on. Something that is most certainly working for my highest good.  So I wanted to create a post concerning why I haven’t completed a book–and how I hope things get on track. You see, I believe when things seem to get hard, it’s God/the Universe’s way of moving things/situations out of the way so our better good can come in.  Or for our desires to manifest. And nothing could be more evident than having my car totaled last month.

It was a simple kind of Saturday. I was finally off work, and my best friend had moved into her new apartment the day before. She was adjusting, and I wanted to be there to help her through the process.  We met at her old apartment, the one she shared with her family.  I parked my car in my usual parallel parking spot at her old apartment complex, and then we took her car to her new place.

So the day was moving nicely. We went to her new apartment; chatted and shared decorative ideas. We went trolling around shopping centers for materials to implement a few of those ideas. We ordered pizza and watched movies. Around 10pm, it was time to pick up her brother.  We went to pick him up, and didn't get back to her old apartment until well after 11. It was then that I went out to get in my car and saw it had been hit. At first, I refused to believe it; I paced along the parking area certain the car I was seeing wasn't mine. 

All this happened on 4/18.  Tuesday I finally got my wrecked car towed out of my driveway after nearly a month of sorting out insurance, police reports, and the responsible party. The title was FedEx'ed to the driver’s insurance company, and the check is finally on its way. I've been in a new car for two weeks, and within those two weeks came another set of issues, until I replaced its camshaft last weekend.

The new car (and replaced camshaft) came right on time, because another challenge has been surviving my 9-5. Tuesday my transfer to another location finally happened (the delay is another beast of a story). The new location is a ways out, and my transportation came together right on time (that’s the Universe calling). So I worked all this week, and very little has changed concerning my perception between my old location and this one. I needed a change of pace, and I got it. However, nothing can replace the overpowering desire to be liberated. To be free within the use of my own time, schedule, and finances. So the new location is different, slower, cleaner, and quieter.  Even so, it still feels like starting over, and with little to no change in my feelings.  It’s still uninspiring.  Dull.  Creatively void.  And just overall dispiriting if you let it be.  Nonetheless, the transfer is meant to be a breather until I find something better.

I've been filling out applications for better job opportunities, to get me out of this company for good and somewhere different as I continue to pursue my dreams here. (Check out my new Spreadshirt store.) Nonetheless, after two years and six months, I figured I've been doing this job for long enough and has long given it everything I had. The tiredness. The tedium. The emotional voids. The chronic, compulsive urge to hop in my car and drive away for good. It’s all there. No seriously, every day I want to quit that place. And somewhere inside of me, I feel like that’s the answer. Quit and move the hell on. The issue is I’ve been drummed to uphold my responsibilities, and I’m not a quitter. So faith is what's left in me.

I haven’t been inspired to pick up and finish Charlaine Harris’ Day Shifted, or any other book. All the images of books in this post are my recent acquisitions. The Stephen King book I found in a $5 bin in this new store in town. I couldn't pass it up.

I may just let the rest of this month ride on by with my reading. At least until I can get into a more comfortable, better feeling place. You would think books would be the perfect escape. Normally, they are. However, I can tell you I’m too unsettled to fall into any novels at the moment.

So in closing, I can't wait to come back to this post a few months from now.  So do you guys ever go through this?  Where life kind of takes a piece of you in another direction?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

~6. Back 2 High School - Towel Style ~

Back... in action....  Sadly, I think I'm almost done.  Nonetheless, here we are with the 6th collection of my high school manga.  More and more Naoko Takeuchi influences, including character sketches ripped straight out of Sailor Moon.  I couldn't help myself back then.

We're still wrapped in the B-story surrounding our two heroines and their adventure through this portal that leads them to another world.  In said world, they attempt to save the life of this strange child.

Towel is apparently in a trance of some sort.  She's being led toward her destiny...

Finally, Towel confronts the new girl, Minno.  Looks like all that hypnotizing Minno did to her classmates came with a purpose.  One being that she's an alien or monster of some sort.  This, of course, leads Towel to change.

Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  The burnt scene come straight out of Sailor Moon R.  Research it.

Internal monologues are probably unusual, but here, Towel delivers.  Finally, the confrontation we've all be waiting on.  See what happens next time...

Friday, May 8, 2015

Last Thoughts on God Help the Child by Toni Morrison

“Spare and unsparing, God Help the Child–the first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current moment–weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape, and misshape, the life of the adult.

At the center: a young woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life, but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love.  There is Booker, the man Bride loves, and loses to anger.  Rain, the mysterious white child with whom she crosses paths.  And finally, Bride’s mother herself, Sweetness, who takes a lifetime to come to understand that “what you do to children matters.  And they might never forget.”

A fierce and proactive novel that adds a new dimension to the matchless oeuvre of Toni Morrison.”

It has taken me a minute or two to write about Toni Morrison’s God Help the Child, but I’m essentially here. I say "essentially” because I still haven't wrapped all my thoughts around the book; it’s a Morrison novel so I have to dig deeper than my initial reading to get the dept of its context (which often leads to over-thinking, analyzing, and a necessary re-reading). So I have to write this as I go, and keep it brief before I write myself right off the damn page. Low pressure.

I enjoyed God Help the Child–for a variety of reasons. One was Morrison’s conciseness. While I’m always there for soaking up her way with language, I’m sometimes left confused and bewildered as it concerns how she paints a scene. Thankfully, God Help the Child gave me little trouble in managing Morrison’s writing, style, and narrative flow. In essence: I gathered clarity of her scenes and overall story.  The prose in God Help the Child didn't feel like mental power tumbling to shape a clear picture/comprehension of what was taking place throughout the characters' narratives.  Nor did her usual poetics (did I just make that up?) override scene and direction.  This allowed me to stick with the book without getting lost or wandering toward outside distractions, similar to what happened during my reading of A Mercy.

Nonetheless, the most prominent reason I enjoyed the book came from its identifiable theme on how we carry what’s done to us as children (mainly by her parents) into our adult lives. The book’s exploration into uncovering that theme was many times rough, haunting, and maybe even barbarous. However, I found those tougher avenues to be honest and consistent with my take of the book's objective, albeit unsettling. God Help the Child is an emotional peek into the psychological development behind children, and it doesn't hold back from darker paths. From self-acceptance, fighting conditional love, and finding self-respect, God Help the Child touches it all.  And I really like that Morrison took on this because, as black people, we almost swerve away from psychological concerns in place of stepping into churches for spiritual solutions.  At least that thought came to mind once I finished the book.

Nonetheless, there were moments where I wanted a little bit more story and closure from some characters, one being Bride’s friend, Brooklyn. And there were also times where I felt a lot more telling took over showing. However, the dept that Morrison takes us through Bride and her beau, Booker (whose story I found the most compelling of them all), makes up for it all.  With these two, I felt like Morrison really takes you places you'd never even been before with a character.  (Just read about their journey and you'll see.)

I've always rung my hands over this personal topic, but God Help the Child is another book where I reflected back to those feelings I had growing up. While it wasn't anywhere near as severe as Bride’s case, the lack of praise I felt growing up definitely resurfaced while reading God Help the Child.  Which, in turn, only propelled my connection with the book, characters and themes.


Reading Habits Tag Questions: 

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?
3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?
4. Do you eat or drink while reading?
5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?
6. One book at a time or several at once?
7. Reading at home or everywhere?
8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?
9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?
10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
11. Do you write in your books?
12. Who do you tag?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Guest Post: Author Kevin Klehr Drama Queens

Ravenswood Publishing Virtual Tour Presents:
The Drama Queen Series
Title: The Drama Queen Series
Author: Kevin KIehr
Genre: LGBT Fiction

 Book One Synopsis:  Close friends Allan and Warwick are dead.  They're not crazy about the idea.  So to help them deal with this dilemma are Samantha, a blond bombshell from the 1950s, and Guy, an insecure angel.

They are soon drawn into the world of theater–Afterlife style, with all the bitchiness, back-stabbing and ego usually associated with the mortal world.

Allan also has a secret.  He has a romantic crush on his friend, Warwick; but shortly after confiding in his new angel pal, his love interest falls for the cock-sure playwright, Pedro.

Not only does Allan have to win the heart of his companion, he also has to grapple with the faded memory of how he actually died.

Book Two Synopsis:  Adam's about to discover how much drama a mid-life crisis can be.  He's obsessed with Mannix, the nude model in his art class.  But Adam has been married to Wade for nearly two decades, and they don't have an open relationship.

Little do they know that Fabien, a warlock from the Afterlife, has secretly cast a spell of lust on Adam and his potential toy-boy.

As things begin to heat up, Adam's guardian angel, Guy, steps in.  But what's the best way to save the relationship?  Should Guy subdue Adam's wandering passions, or instigate a steamy threesome?

The Author On Dreaming Up a Gay Angel

One evening a friend asked me about my writing. I talked about my surprise at how my gay angel character, Guy, seemed to win many readers’ hearts. And as the night flowed with much conversation and wine, I had an epiphany.

You see, back in the mid-80s when I moved to Sydney, I met a man who was an aspiring artist. He sold his soul to his paintbrush, determined to be as successful as the many avant-garde creatives he admired. He quickly became one of my closest friends.

He had an awkward personality, and although he was liked by those who I introduced him to, his social graces were underdeveloped. This had more to do with the fact that he was self-conscious of what he said and how he acted, and this combination brought out the parent in those he met.

He was unique. He was a guy who balanced part-time work, socialising, and art, making sure there was plenty of time for the latter, as this was his dream. So many hours were spent alone at the easel.

He shared several exhibitions with other artists, but there was one upcoming event he was really excited about – his own individual showcase in Perth. He never made this important event. He died of an asthma attack over the Easter weekend of 1990, one week before his important show.

In my novels, Guy the angel is awkward. He is self-conscious. He brings out the parent in his friends. Yet this character is loosely based on a completely different individual. When I talked about Guy after many wines the other night to a friend, I started wondering if he was really my old buddy.

My artist pal was twenty-eight when he passed away. Guy is about the same age. Both are tall. And in the second paragraph of Drama Queens with Love Scenes, my angel is described as having “a vanilla hint of gayness”. My artist friend denied it, but if he had lived…

The last time I saw him was a week before he died.

He actually said “good-bye”. It sounded so final. This was strange as whenever we parted he’d always make the point of reminding me of our next engagement, which on this occasion, was three weeks away.

I hugged him and something inside told me not to leave. That little voice was encouraging me to stay the night and get drunk with him. But it was Sunday evening and I was catching up with someone else. I always regret not listening to my gut feeling.

The character of Guy developed into his own, but I wonder whether I really just channelled my old friend. Was there a possibility that my subconscious had bled onto my keyboard? And as writers, are we simply doing this all the time without even realising it?

Excerpt from Drama Queens and Adult Themes (Book Two)

He had the perfect vee-shaped torso. The kind that would turn on a dozen potential lovers if he wandered into a gay bar. And while his faultless crew cut was artificially red, his other natural features were as intense as James Dean's. I could go riding in his sports car, feeling the breeze as we headed to Lover's Lane. He'd admire me with his penetrating eyes before undressing me for a lovemaking session so powerful, not even a night with a handpicked selection of porn stars would compare.

But unlike anyone I'd ever met, he was blessed with soft charcoal-colored wings. This was Guy's boyfriend, Joshua. I was back at that thespian drinking haven, the Pedestal, at some stage between going to bed and waking up the next morning.

I tried not to drool at this bad boy, while picturing myself taking off his well-fitted leather jacket, slowly. I wanted to let out an orgasmic moan, before any foreplay had begun.

"I think you need to sleep with Mannix," he said.

He sipped on a Bloody Mary.

"Joshua!" his loving partner reprimanded.

"Joshua, we tried," I said.

"And what happened, sweetheart?"

"He freaked out. He gives us all the signals and then runs off in terror."

"Tsk, tsk. Now why would he do that? You're not exactly on the ugly scale."

"Thanks," I replied. "I think."

"Joshua, that's not the issue here," Guy said. "I've been watching over them, and they're getting obsessed with Mannix. And just as odd, Mannix is obsessed with them. It doesn't make sense."

"What's there to make sense of, Petal? They're grown men looking for a bit of spice. This Mannix dude is the spice. Supply and demand. No problem."

"But Guy has a point," I said. "This is doing my head in. One minute, Wade and I are respectable grown men, the next we're one step away from toupees and face-lifts."

"And is this causing you two to argue? Fight? Split up?"

"Strangely, no."

I picked up my cocktail, resting the top of the glass on my lower lip before sipping slowly.

"Joshua, it's still causing drama," continued Guy. "Adam and Wade have their heads in no-man's land, and Mannix is just as bemused."

"Oh my darlings, they're men. Adult men. Every one of them. That which doesn't kill them, will make them stronger. Or separated but I can't see any hint of that. Can you, Adam?" I nodded tensely. "There, you see, Guy? It might be causing a bit of grief, but in the end, they're men. Once they stop questioning it with their emotions, they'll solve it physically and wonder why they didn't get down and dirty sooner."

I sat with the two angels, none-the-wiser. That dark-skinned woman was back on stage. Sultry jazz was her genre of choice today, and her small ensemble cruised into mellow tones that could set you adrift on a small boat. As she crooned the first lines of "Someone To Watch Over Me", Guy sang the words with her under his breath.

Around me, the mismatched furniture complemented the mismatched cast. A lone African woman, wearing more colors than a peacock's tail, stood transfixed as if the singer was secretly robbing her soul. Her fingers tapped on an imaginary piano, and her wide-eyed stare gave me goose bumps.

An old lady, dressed in clothes her own granddaughter would wear, clutched her wine glass like it was a precious jewel. At the same time, she gazed into the eyes of a mature athletic man who looked like he once had a passion for ballet dancing. Their loving gaze reminded me of the way Wade sometimes looked at me.

"So, Joshua, you think we're making too much of a big deal about this?"

He rubbed the tip of his sculptured jawline as Guy casually leaned toward him.

"Adam, darling, there are men who put themselves through hell and back trying to do the right thing. They won't act until they work out all the final consequences. And let's face it, as much pontificating as humanly possible is not ever going to let you know the final outcome, really! And there are men who are a lot more spirited and take life as a challenge. Go forth and take the risk and see where it leads you."

"Joshua, Adam understands that," Guy said. "But there's Wade to consider. What if their marriage falls apart?"

"Darling, seriously. From what you've told me, they're not going to fall apart. It's all just a bit of fun. Mannix is a new appliance, like a fridge or a vibrator. Something that has a use. And think, Adam. Think of the uses you can come up with, with your new appliance."

Author & Links

Kevin lives with his long-term partner in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia's own 'Emerald City,' Sydney.

From an early age, Kevin had a passion for writing, jotting down stories and plays until it came time to confront puberty.  After dealing with pimple creams and facial hair, Kevin didn't pick up a pen again until he was in his thirties.  His handwritten manuscript was being committed to paper when his social circumstances changed, giving him no time to write.  Concerned, his partner, Warren, snuck the notebook out to a friend who in turn came back and demanded Kevin finish his novel.  It wasn't long before Kevin's active imagination was let loose again.

Kevin's first novel, Drama Queens with Love Scenes, has been relaunched via Wilde City Press along with the sequel Drama Queens with Adult Themes.

Kevin is currently working on his third in the series, Drama Queens and Devilish Schemes, and a romance novella, Nathan and the New Yorker.

Currently Available At:

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Michael's Mini Haul

Hey-hey now! After work Saturday–which was hellish and something I refuse to get into–I got to spin around town and enjoy the rest of my day. From finding $5 books, to buying energy drinks that don’t energy, I eventually made a stop at Michaels Arts & Crafts. With pens drying up and erasers that has more erase than eraser, I did a quick inventory check in my head as to what I would need before I went in there and really lost my mind shopping. I knew I absolutely had to stay away from the sticker and scrap booking area. Since that’s where I usually go ham ‘n’ cheese in the wallet with ideas.

I think it’s apparent these are off-brand markers (Artist‘s Loft?), but I was good with that once I found them. I really needed some fine tip markers and ran across this 36 piece pack for $4.99. I only use markers for those small, precision details; and I really needed a brown marker, seeing that my current one was all dried up and buying a replacement was $2! So after options browsing, I settled on this pack to get what I need to get done.

More than anything, I needed a new ink pen. My lovely, lovely Precise V5 is on its last roll, causing the remaining ink to sputter out. I think everybody knows how much I love that pen for inking. I've been using that brand for years and can seem to find the pens at Wal-Mart. I don't think it’s a crafting pen, but what the hell.  

So I got this Faber-Castell Black India Ink pen with the same 0.8mm nib. It’s not rolling ball, but its nib isn't prone to smudging and absorbs fast. It wasn't until I got home that I realized I’ve bought one of these Faber-Castell 0.8mm pens before. And from my understanding, it dried out before I ever really used it. Unless I used it up during an art course. Anyway, the pen was $3.99 so that had better be the case.

Lastly, I finally got a new eraser for everything but penciling. White eraser for pencil. Gummy eraser for pastels. Then I got home and realized I needed a new white eraser too. So is life. Anyway, this tri-tip eraser was $1.99. I love that it does have three tips because that'll help with precision, and keep me from chopping off smudged pieces from previous erasing endeavors.

I think I budged well. All this for $11.96. Anyway, buying art supplies is an investment, right?  I still need another pad of bristol board and a portfolio.  Maybe next time.

Hope you guys continue to have a great weekend! And keep drawing. No matter how good or how bad you think you are, always ART!

Total Pageviews