Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I got sick in October. Badly sick. So bad that I'm still recovering. I lost all my energy and couldn't keep anything down. In November, I started to recover.In December, I won a court case if won means I got at least some of what I wanted. including mobility. The judge had warned them that I could go to Supreme court if I wanted to and had a good case. They settled.

It took me a while to figure out how to use my scooter. I'm still learning. You should see the dents on it. I call it my Tardis - Transit and Relative Diversions in Scooting.

It came in useful. Very useful. My youngest loves sitting at my feet and the other two, if she's not with us, will sit there instead. Mobility - what a concept.

After all, there was this major party in February that lasted 18 days... We Pwned hockey!

Friday, January 29, 2010

A bit of WoW writing...

I recently changed my dwarf into a draenai. I had been considering it for months, but just couldn't make the decision until I had a dream about the toon a few weeks ago. I'm a very visual dreamer and trying to translate it into words is hard. I should probably draw it out and not write it.

So, this is for all my friends on my server.

I woke up this morning with hooves. Which was not how I woke up the last time I slept.

I hope that my Father would have understood. I never told my mate that I found his body at the ruins of Thaurissian. The bracelet I made and gave him as a child was unmistakable in the dust. His bones, my Father's bones, were gnawed on. I told Mother that he was dead. She followed him, walking to the ends of Azeroth.

I still haven't found her to tell her.

Father preferred to call me Oddbit because I played with odd bits of gems and strings, always making pretties to give to the elders. Even the king thought it was cute that the little pig tailed red headed dwarfess handed him a pretty to wear. I had an aptitude and I followed my dreams. Everyone called me Oddbit, my birth name disappearing into a memory.

I followed my parents' footsteps, out into the world of Azeroth, with my pet at my side and my mentor, my lover, and my mate Tyerol. He always had a sparkle in his eye for me. I really can't blame him for turning from me when it happened.

I really shouldn't have been alone searching hidden crevices for ore. The ancient evil smell to the place I found made me cringe. I felt a sting but thought nothing of it when I was exploring under Icecrown Citadel. Then I got called by Chessy to join her guild, to help them fight their way into the frozen throne.

I don't know when it actually started. I heard the darkest voice I have ever heard laugh about his creations. Then the burning started. I was burning from within and it seered me to my soul. I wanted to destroy all around me, friends, enemies, everything. I know Chessy will forgive me for the claw marks I left. My mate, precious Tyerol, he still hasn't gotten over it. Makoy, Shakrie, Tsunamee and Kari all tried to get the poisons out of me. Nothing they did worked.

They could see it start with my hands. My skin was turning red. My back hurt. My feet burned. I was blinded with pain. I reached up and felt bone growths. Then things got strange.

I know Chessy didn't mean to hurt me when they subdued me. The back of my head still hurts from where her sword hilt took me down. They piled on me as a howl I have never heard before erupted from my lips.

“Hold her! She's becoming Eredar!”

“We have to get her to help!”

“She got closer to the darkwinds than I did. Enslave demon!”

“She's possessed. Subdue her.”

“Shadow! Chessy! Hold her still! Deathgrip if you have to!”

“Take her to Velen!”

“She's loose! Watch out for that tail!”

“None of our heals are working.”

My world went dark when something hard hit the back of my head. I awoke and found that I was bound, hand and foot, my anger consuming me. I could hear music in my mind that was trying to break past my fury. The pain was searing me as my body burned. The bonds were cutting into my flesh. I could taste my blood on my lips.

“There is nothing I can do for her. Perhaps the Na'ru on Shattrath can save her. If she'll let their light in, she will live, but never the same.”

“Oddbit? Can you hear me love?”

A snarl erupted from my throat.

“You've been infected by something that is making you into an Eredar! We're doing all we can to save you. But you'll never be the same.”

“Stop fighting us!”

“We can let you die, Oddbit. Or you can choose to live.”

“You'll never be the same.”

“Yah, there's going to be a few changes...”

“Do you want to live?”

“Please, love.” It was Tyerol. I could hear the hurt in his voice.

“Leave her with us. She'll be one of us now. If she chooses to live.”

“Fight. Please fight. Live!”

I will never know how long it was I slept. The fire that burned inside met a quenching water. The darkness filled with the light of a thousand inner suns. I could feel the love of the Na'ru flow through me in rivulets, filling the core of my being, their music healing me, changing me into something new, their light healing all that I was, making me whole.

The burning stopped, and sweet darkness of sleep overtook me.

When I woke up, I was on the Aldor Rise in Shattrath. I could still hear the chimes. Chessy hadn't left my side. Nor had Tyerol. I could hear his gentle snores over on another bed. Chessy replaced a cool compress on my head. “We nearly lost you, short bit.” She chuckled, “actually, I don't think you're that short anymore.”

I sat up and looked for where my toes were. I could no longer feel them. I looked at my hands and the blue skin was shocking. My arms were longer and thinner. My body felt longer and off balance.

“It was come and go. The healers wanted me to stay just in case you attacked us again. Don't look at me that way. You were hit by some sort of Maker designed probe that the Burning Legion had modified and the Scourge had perverted.”

She lifted a glass of purified water to my mouth and handed me some sweet breads. “I bet you're famished. It took seven healers to keep you alive. Four Death Knights, three paladins, two druids and I were barely able to keep you under control without killing you.”

“The profit Velen told us to bring you here. A'dal and the other Naaru worked their light and not only let the change happen, but directed it to where it would let you live, not die.

“You're a Draenei now, short bit.”

I let those words wash over me. My blue skin was not simply blue from the cold. I pulled the covers back and where there had been cute little dwarven toes, tough as nails hooves took their place. I felt my forehead and traced the long curving horns, felt the tendrils and finger combed through the little wisps of white hair. Even my voice was strange to me now. “Help me up?”

Familiar hands held onto mine as I stood for the first time as a Draenai. I was off balance, yet she caught me. From the corner of my eye, I saw the curtains being pulled back as Spei brought in tray laden with food. “Hey, cute stuff! Glad to see you're up and about. We were worried about you.”

I sat down, taking it all in, squealing in pain as I sat on my tail. “Nothing hurt but my pride,” I grimaced, stuffing my face full of food and drink as fast as I could. I was famished.

“Eat up, short bit. Everyone wants to see you when you're ready.”

Tyerol stirred in the corner. His eyes opened and almost instantly he was at my side. “Oddbit, love, I... I will stand by you, but I know I'm not meant for you anymore.” He wiped away a tear. “I'm just glad you chose life.”

“Oh, Tyerol!” I held him crushingly to my breast, aware that the room was empty but for us. My mate had freed me from the burden of knowing I was leaving him behind.

New clothing had been provided and I dressed myself when I was finally ready. I stepped out through the curtains into my new life as a Draenai. I could hear my friends cheering.

I inhaled, remember the name of my birth. “Aethena. My name is Aethena.”

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ubuntu Update, BCSFAzine Cover and more

The principal at our kids' school is unable to convince the school district's tech head to consider installing Ubuntu on any of their computers. So we loaned them our son's and told them that if there was any problems, pull him from class because it was his computer and he knew how to use it. He's in grade 2.

Years and years ago, I was a member on and off (some years on, some off) of BCSFA. I went to a few of their cons, spent a ton of time doing art security, even did an art show once and sold a piece. This is one of their covers:


I have no clue where the original artwork went. It was an 11 by 14 I think. The woman in the middle was Magenta. I'm not sure who the wolf or elfgirl are. I'd have to search my papers in the *cough* storage room to see if I still had them.

Storage room for us = place we throw everything because we don't want the kids to get at but fail miserably. My art supplies are in there somewhere and I dread the thought of going in to find them. I'm going to have to do it someday.

I also realized today that I've been scanning in my art at 200dpi all this time. That's fine for me and this blog but for a reprint or for professional work? Not so much.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This is Aylen

In this image, we meet the irritated Aylen, sitting on her command chair, one foot dangling a shoe, frowning and bored.

this is Aylen

Aylen lived in a time when cybernetics were common, where people wore bracers full of gizmos and gadgets. She was "Control" and would enter a chrysalid to be the communications hub of her planet or the ship she was often on. The ability of a "Control" was not necessarily conscious. Unlike other "Controls," she hated being in the chrysalis. She, too, had a daughter, Tayshana, who was also a "Control" but was too young for the job. Not being able to raise her child was her main ire.

A chrysalis was a bio-quartz crystal that would float in the centre of the Control Room. There could be many "Controls" in there, or as few as a solitary one. A chrysalis was warm to the touch and would bend to a gentle weight. If struck, it would repel the force away from it. If you were a potential "Control," if you touched an empty one, it would draw you in, enveloping you, taking over your life support and let you live in a "cybernetic" dreamworld while you hibernated. Years would pass in "real time" yet it would seem like a blink of an eye.

Aylen was good at her job, yet she hated loosing connection with life. She could feel the passage of time and it irritated her, so she stayed out of the chrysalis as much as possible. Her anklet is actually a tracking device. She was too valuable to simply be allowed to roam free.

The stuff one comes up with as a teen...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A publish without a contract is copywrong

Years and years and years ago, I was a high school student, or just out of high school, and was excited whenever one of my meager drawings got published. This one fanzine editor and publisher wanted to run one of my drawings, but there was a caveat: she wasn't going to pay me and she was going to keep the copyright and publish it anytime she wanted to. She was pushing herself to be my agent. Now, don't get me wrong, she was the agent to at least two of my artistic mentors in the area and she was publishing and printing a lot of their work. I just had a few small problems with what she told me:
1: No contract
2: No payment, not even a single copy of the magazine for my portfolio
3: who asked her to represent me?

Seriously. Who asked her? I don't remember ever asking her to represent me.

Now, all the information in the above about her ownership of my copyright came out after she had published it. She wanted more images from me, specifically ST:NG characters because it was mainly an ST:NG fanzine. I didn't want that. I wanted to explore my larp character's history and write my own stories.

When she told me she owned the copyright and after she refused to give me a copy of the fanzine (I was going to have to buy my own copy!) I told her that the copyright was MINE and unless she paid me for it, (free copy? hmm? is that too much to ask?) I wasn't going to let her publish anymore of them.

She never did give me a free copy and never got to publish anymore of my artwork.

The picture was later published by another fanzine who happily gave me as many copies as I needed or wanted. I would have been happy with that publisher printing my work except that he was not interested in being my agent, but would accept any submissions I ever gave him and always happily gave me at least one copy.

This is Aylen M'Khose. Race, unknown. Definitely a telekinetic/telepathic race. In the image below, she had the ability to turn into a mermaid, but if that was a racial ability or from the medical doctor's magic sick bays, I forget. RPG from a long time ago, where all my notes are now lost to 20 years of life.

Aylen M'Khose

The story represented here is about how she was (from left upper) rescued a friend while in mermaid form, attacked a Romulan, was assaulted, killed someone, and was stuck on an away team she didn't want to be on (bottom two panels). The centre panel represents a period about 75 years after the smaller panels (ST:NG uniform vs ST:SFS) and how she was sent back in time on Vulcan to early in the Vulcan development. That's mount Seleya in the background. She couldn't return to her time and lived out her life as a hermit on Vulcan, staying away from the primitive Vulcans so as not to interfere. NOT! She did die in Vulcan's past, but not after having at least one child, whose descendants probably did not survive all the wars Vulcan had - I didn't want to explore that idea. She had another child before she went to the past, T'aysha, who was raised on her homeworld and came to Vulcan early in ST:NG time to Seleya and found her mother's emblem in the dirt.

The star Aylen wears on her forehead represents her family crest. Not that high up in the family hierarchy, but still among the nobility because of her abilities. When T'aysha found the emblem, the knowlege that her lost mother was truly dead overwhelmed her. T'aysha, herself, was half human, and therefore had limited telepathy/telekinesis, but her psychometry told her exactly what happened to her mother while she wore the emblem. The grave that was excavated nearby was one of a none-Vulcan female, but was badly deteriorated. Where it would be a breeze on Aylen to lift something the size of a shuttle, T'aysha could barely lift a phaser. Aylen was a "long distance" telepath and only needed to touch minds once with someone to be able to hear them, T'aysha was a line of sight telepath. None of Aylen's people enjoyed showing off their abilities because of one side effect: hunger. Use too much "push" and they got ravenous, yet if they didn't use their abilities, they would atrophy.

Aylen was my "superhero" ST character. T'aysha was more reasonable. One was created when my life was in chaos and I needed a superhero to help me live it, and the other was created after the worst of the chaos. I killed of Aylen M'Khose in the stories I wrote during the day simply because I had no need for her any longer. It's the Star Trek universe - if they had at least 3 different versions of male immortal godlike creatures, why not a female one who shows restraint?

Aylen M'Khose eventually morphed into a different genre's and lost the M'Khose. I'll post more on that version of her later.

I was 17 when I came up with Aylen M'Khose and the original of that image has a nasty bit of writing on the back. I had submitted a copy of it to my art teacher in the Grade 12 Art Portpholios class and he wrote my grade on the back. I think it was an A+. The teacher wanted us to do something that took at least 20 hours to do. I was over 30 when I handed in the copy. He also demanded to see the original and I showed him. I used technical pens and (shudder) permanent ink at the time because that was all I had.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kiana No Luck

About... oh... nearly 20 years now, I was an avid D&D fan. I was also a skittish D&D fan for reasons I won't go into here. One of the characters I ran for only one small adventure, but I fell in love with her anyway, was a half-elf called "Kiana No Luck."
Kiana No Luck
That was the first image I ever drew of her. I have at least one more not included here. The GM had us roll "luck rolls" and I always fubared, so she was known as "Kiana No Luck."
colours for a mural
A few years later, a gaming store owner and I were in negotiations for a mural on their bathroom door, if you could call it negotiations. It fell through for various reasons - one of which I'm pretty sure was because I was expected to provide all the paints I would need. I was barely making $750/month at that time, $520 went to rent and at least another $70 went to phone and net. $150 to live off of was not a lot, and I had other expenses I won't go into here. There were other factors as well which had nothing to do with the gaming store, and I'm glad I didn't. The gaming store changed owners and folded. This was the first proposal of what colours I planed on using on the mural and it had to be approved by the owner. It was, but, the mural fell through.
Kiana runs
During the original and only module Kiana ever ran in, she ended up down a long hallway and she had to run it without getting hit by the arrows fired by the orcs. She succeeded. One of the only time I ever got a luck roll to fall my way.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Art Class and more...

I just can't seem to do anything abstract and that's one of our assignments. I tried drawing a star and then drew a line, which became a pen drawing a line, then a hand holding the pen drawing the line... That got thrown across the room.

So I decided to work on another piece. I started with a tulip type flower, tucked in a newborn's foot and hand, added a leaf, showed it to my man and frowned. It wasn't abstract enough.

So I drew a cross from behind, grass, some aurora, a hand reaching for the flower... and I started to hear the old Pete Seeger (<3 him!) song "Where have all the flowers gone." I think I did something abstract enough. The next two assigments are observational drawings - a series of about 10 of them, and then The Group of Seven. I don't even know where to begin with them, except that it involves recreating one of their works but in pastel.

I picked up a portable art platform to draw on so that I can leave the picture I'm working set up and can pick it up to put it away from the kids.

Speaking of kids, our middle child seems to have that knack. I hope she nurses it and let her skill grow. Maybe she'll be the next Colleen Doran, only Canadian. :)