Dark Productions: Spotlight on Nguyen Dong

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Part two of the Dark Productions team introductions takes us to the other half of our very talented artistic team, Nguyen Dong. I’ve known Nguyen for probably 25 years, back when we were both artsy high school students just trying to find our way in an unwelcoming world. And now we’re both artsy middle-aged people finding our way in a massively welcoming community of other artistic people.

Nguyen always told me that art is patience and practice, and I absolutely agree with him.  When I told him that I had more or less given up on trying to be an artist he told me it was sad. But it wasn’t sad for me, merely a shift in focus for my own creative endeavors: a shift from visuals to words.

NGYUEN DONG

hiraku1page0Nguyen is the creator of the comic Hiraku, an engaging historically-inspired story with breathtaking artwork.  But I’ll let him describe it in his own words:

Hiraku is “a 20th century tale in Hokkaido where a mute Ainu boy joins forces with a mythical fox girl in an attempt to rescue his Grandmother in the middle of a violent conflict between two distinct cultures, the Japanese and the Ainu.”

Volumes 1 and 2 can be found on his website, and he just started publishing volume 3 as a serial on his Tumblr page. Fans of the supernatural, and fans of comics that depict rich, multifaceted history will love this series.

Nguyen recently started posting  on YouTube showcasing his creative process. Right now there are only a handful of videos but his channel is growing quickly. You can get all caught up here.

On top of comics and tutorials, he’s taken keyframe and illustration classes with some of the best names in the business. These have given him a chance to explore and expand his already impressive repertoire.

Come on guys, it’s Thanos!

I am partial to this image for selfish reasons. Not only is it darkly romantic, it’s also a moment from my most recent novel, A Nice Place.

On top of all of this he creates collector cards for Upper Deck, hosts kitbashing parties, and posts all of his art on Facebook @NgyuenDongArtist, on Istagram @nguyendongdraws, on Twitter @nhoinla and on Tumblr @nhoinla.

Next up, the Dark PRoductions writing team!

Dark Productions: Spotlight on Leen Isabel

dp_logo_500pixelsThe time has come to talk about Dark Productions, a little So Cal outfit I’ve have the pleasure of working with for the past few years, though our connection goes way, way back.

Dark Productions consists of two artists: married couple Leen Isabel and Nguyen Dong, and two writers: my brother, Cordell Falk and myself. Alone I like to believe we are forces in our own right, together I feel that we complement each other incredibly well. Honestly, these guys are so fucking talented I feel blessed to be able to call them friends, let alone creative co-conspirators.

So, let’s start at the beginning . . .and when we get to the end, stop.

 

LEEN ISABEL

pole-dancing-adventures-vol1-1Leen Isabel is the mastermind behind the insanely adorable, incredibly relatable, extremely popular web comic, Pole Dancing Adventures. (Wow, I really shoehorned in those adverbs, didn’t I?) She has two compiled volumes available on her website already, and is working on volume three, with the plan to have it ready for San Diego Comic-Con this July. In the long term, Leen and I are collaborating on an erotic fiction piece, so keep your eye out for that project in the future.

On top of her web comic, her art prints, her work with Girls Drawin’ Girls, and other side projects, she also finds time to cosplay (yay!).

 

pussy-strikes-web-6(I have this one hanging over my writing desk for inspiration.)

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To keep up to date on Leen’s and Dark Productions’ upcoming projects you can like her page on  Facebook at @LeenIsabelArtist , and on Twitter at @leenisabel  and on Instagram at @leenisabel

Next in the spotlight: Nguyen Dong

 

Updates and Promises

Disclaimer: this is going to be long but I have included pictures so hopefully that will make up for it.

Hi there.

It’s been two and a half years since I last posted a real update. I even published a new book last year but didn’t update the site because I got a new computer and couldn’t remember how to log in. (Don’t judge.)

I’d say time flies but it doesn’t. It’s more of a grueling slog through rivers of tedium that, for the past two years haven’t been relieved by much writing of the creative variety. That said, I have not been completely idle and I knew that one day I’d come back and get things up and running once more. Before we get into new things, allow me to share what I’ve been doing for the past couple of years.

17202823_10155045796210629_1484896111017302868_nI turned 40, which was cool.  I still get carded, which is cooler. And I had balloons like this at my surprise party, which is the coolest.

I went to nursing school, adding a BSN to my dual BAs in English and Theatre. Somehow all of these things go together but don’t ask me to explain it.  Last Saturday, May 19th, I graduated and drunkenly walked across the stage and (apparently) pissed people off when I vehemently “noped” out of participating in the opening prayer. (It wasn’t a religious school and I had already had four mimosas and an IPA. Shit happens.)

32982074_10156356204258252_8222565762632515584_nI’m the redhead in the middle,being a happy drunk.

I planned a trip to Utah’s state and national parks and fell in love, even though it was 118 degrees when we were in Zion.  No, I’m not moving to Utah. I’m far too California for that to happen anytime soon, but I do want to hike all the things.

19875214_10155449806845629_1678207250059809589_nGoblin Valley is the most incredible, otherworldly place I have ever been. I want to go back and take my cosplays and do a bunch of photo shoots there BECAUSE LOOK AT THIS PLACE!!

Speaking of cosplay, I haven’t been writing all that much because school has taken up all of my brain and left me devoid of words. My creative outlet became cosplay.

IMG_5367Mizore Shirayuki from the anime “Rosario + Vampire”, which is wildly inappropriate and completely silly.  I love it.

20245718_10155505895550629_5725967090432844519_nHera’s Rebels season one outfit was the first cosplay I made 90% from scratch and the most expensive one I’ve ever made. I learned that pants are hard to make and though alcohol-based airbrush makeup works perfectly on latex appliances, they make my eyes water so much that all of the color washes off and I look like a reverse racoon. No, I did not make the lekku, because I’m not at that level yet. (If you’re looking to rock some lekku of your own I bought mine on Etsy from TwilekPam and they’re really amazing.)

32155008_10156297673460629_7102240749109903360_nMy newest cosplay that I am making for SDCC 2018 is Gaige the Mechromancer from Borderlands 2.  It’s an old game that I recently discovered and I’m honestly a little obsessed with it. I will be posting process pics and all sorts of tidbits for this costume, because it is 75% props. I LOVE making props. I also did a photo shoot at Vazquez Rocks with my lovely friends from Dark Productions (so much more on them next week because we’ve got exciting things brewing!)

And speaking of exciting things, it wasn’t a literary desert while I was in school.  I not only published a new book last year, but I also had signings and a book launch party at the best damn bookstore in San Diego, Mysterious Galaxy.

IMG_5369Book launch party for Doomsday Strokes Again January 2016. I didn’t sleep for days before this because I printed the wrong copy of my book and had to fix it. It all ended well, I think. (I miss my purple hair.)

IMG_5368Signing copies of the Doomsday series books (in costume!) at the Mysterious Galaxy booth at SDCC 2016.

coverMy latest book was published just in time for SDCC 2017. For a blurb and info, check out the book page.

Aside from graduation, most amazing thing I’ve done lately was cosplay as femme Han Solo on the red carpet at the world premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story in Hollywood. Dark Productions has a great write-up here, so you can follow the link and read about our experience there and see all of the pictures. For a long-time Star Wars fan it was an incredible experience.

32332264_10106100625469511_6202494806254419968_nDo we look amazing, or what?

The was long-winded. I don’t apologize. I had two years worth of adventures to catch you up on. I’ll be posting more steadily from now on, including some old and new creative material. Next week, however, I will be starting with a foray into the world of Dark Productions next week. I hope you join me there. It’ll be fun.

I promise.

And it will  probably have more pictures, because who doesn’t love pictures?

 

IT WORKS!!!!

There is so much going on I don’t know where to start.  First off, it’s been a year since I’ve had access to my website.  I know, I know, I should have figured it out sooner, but I don’t know what I’m doing here and when I’d contact my webhost and such they’d answer half a question and leave ten more unanswered.  I didn’t have time to hound them. I have better things to do.

So I have happenings happening and I thought, “Selena, you really need to get this website up and running again.”

So I finally put in some effort and figured it out.  Now I feel deeply stupid.

My website didn’t work because of an extra space before the dns server name.  That’s it.  A fucking space.  If I had looked in the right place to begin with I may have noticed it, but I didn’t know what I was looking for so I missed it.  And I haven’t written on this thing for a year.  A whole year.  Over a space.  I’m an idiot.

That said-now that that pesky little space is gone and I have access again, I wanted to post about a few fun things that are happening.

On December 5, 2015, from 3-5 pm,. I’ll be at Mysterious Galaxy bookstore in Clairemont Mesa, signing books and hobnobbing for their annual holiday party.  It should be great fun, as they’re a great group of booksellers and it’s a fabulous independent bookstore. They have been incredibly helpful to a beginning author like me and I am forever in their debt for giving me a chance to take part in one of their recent local author showcases.

On top of that, a book release party for the sequel to Every Day is Like Doomsday is in the works (more info coming soon!), and my mild horror novel A Nice Place is complete and slated for release in 2016. (Now I just have to find time to paint the cover art . . .)

Ok.  That’s enough for now. Back to editing my proof copies so that I can drive my designer insane.

(I’m so happy to be back!)

XOXOXO

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New Shit!

I finally have a public Facebook page, which is super cool and stuff.  You can follow me there for booky things (and for timely links to happenings on this site)

At the risk of alienating family and friends who love me and support me, I’m going to promote some things here.

My next novel, “The Beginning and the End” (You can find information about it here) is currently available for Kindle pre-order and will be out on Amazon on 10/31/14.

In celebration of that momentous occasion, I’ve discounted the Kindle versions of my other works for a limited time (10/30/14 through 11/3/14 only).  (I love my readers) (#Yay!)

My debut novel, “Every Day is Like Doomsday” will be on sale for only $0.99!  Ca-razy!  Click here for the synopsis, if you’re into things like that.  http://bitly.com/1tD77Ow

My satirical biblical novellas, “A creation” and “A Garden” will be FREE!  Yes, you read correctly: FREE!  (These prices are insane!) You can find more info here and here, or you can just click the links and start your downloads.  http://bitly.com/1rzTvOI and http://bitly.com/102aH8V

I am beside myself with anticipation.  I’m ending the year with a bang and next year I’ll hopefully have two brand spanking new books out.  (Hint: one of them is the much-requested sequel to “Doomsday”)

Yay books!

 

 

I’m Not Dead Yet

I wish I could say I’ve been writing a ton and I’m ready to wow the world with a barrage of words the likes of which it has never seen.  Unfortunately I haven’t had time to much new writing.  I have, however, had time for much editing.  My next novel, The Beginning and the End (see a synopsis here), is almost ready for publication, thanks to the edits of many friends and my amazing designer.  I’m hoping to release it before the end of the year.

Another novel, which is actually a collection of four novellas called A Nice Place (see a synopsis here), is in the editing stages (another big thanks to my grammar-minded friends). The release date for this one is some time in the first half of 2015. (Yeah, I’m way specific like that).

On top of those projects I’ve been slowly chipping away at the sequel to Every Day is Like Doomsday and I only have about 16 chapters left to writeThen the editing starts and that’s the real beast.

As a palate cleanser between all of that I also need to sit down and write the final installment in my satirical biblical novella trilogy because I know that the readers of the first two stories are dying for more God in gold hot pants. Perhaps this one will be my goal for NaNoWriMo this November.

In short, more is on the way and 2015 should be an interesting year.

 

 

Vampires, Schmampires

I get it.  I do.  As a strong, modern, self-assured woman I’m probably not supposed to admit this, but I understand the fantasy of being swept off of my feet.  There’s nothing wrong with a little ravishment now and then.  And I get the allure of the us-against-the-world mentality.  Granted, it made more sense to me when I was sixteen, but who am I to judge.

What I can’t understand is the overabundance of books and TV shows and movies with vampire men and human girls (because, let’s face it, they’re always girls).  These men are old.  They’re killers.  And they are creepy as fuck.  Let’s take this point by point, shall we?

1-These male vampires are total assholes when they first meet the girls that they find absolutely irresistible.  And why are the girls irresistible?  Is it because of their eyes?  Their perfume?  Their astute sense of fashion?  No.  It’s because the vampires want to eat them.  And for some reason these girls find that really fucking sexy.  (Yes, danger can be an aphrodisiac but I doubt any of them would be getting moist in their nethers over Jeffry Dahmer and a date with him would be just as dangerous.)

2-The vampires watch the girls when they sleep.  Now, since the girls don’t know this (because they’re sleeping) it’s up to the audience/reader to swoon over how protective/sweet/romantic he’s being by watching over his beloved, a.k.a. the girl he wants to eat more than any of the other girls, as she sleeps.   It’s not sweet.  It’s fucking creepy.  And stalkery.  Even Buffy had the good sense to be creeped out when Angel was drawing pictures of her in her sleep.  Granted, he was trying to drive her crazy and threatening her friends at the time, but still, she eventually knew where she stood.

3-The girl always gives up her blood to the vampire in some “let me save you” gesture and it’s always treated in the same way: as a loss of virginity.

What I want to know is where are all of the novels/movies about female vampires and teenaged boys?  And I’m not talking camp, because that seems to be the only time this combination is given center stage.  (Once Bitten, Vampire’s Kiss, Christopher Moore’s Bloodsucking Fiends-which is a great book, by the way)

But where’s the serious treatment for this subject?  Where are the hordes of teenaged fanboys falling all over themselves to catch a glimpse of the actress who plays the female vampire at ComicCon?   Or who stand in line all night to buy the next juicy installment of soft-core vampire porn?  And what if it wasn’t even about vampires?  What about the BDSM erotica that has come onto the scene and has housewives everywhere dying to be spanked, especially if they’re blindfolded so that they can pretend that someone other than their husbands is putting them through their paces.

Would it even play if the roles were reversed? Not likely.  Because culturally women are to be ravished and men are to do the ravishing. According to mainstream America, men who want to be dominated by women are the aberration while women are supposed to be submissive and enjoy it.  And again, let me state that I get the fantasy.  I don’t mind a well-written piece of vampiric smut or BDSM.  I’ll take Buffy over Twilight and Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty Trilogy over the 50 Shades trilogy any day.   It’s just sad that these things are finally part of the mainstream artistic experience and these are the representatives.

I want parity.  Prove me wrong.  Show me mainstream novels/movies that turn the tables and treat the inversion in a serious way.  And even as I say that I picture a teenage boy sleeping in his double size bed while a sexy, morose female vampire watches him sleep.  And then he wakes up.  And he sees her there.  And instead of smiling at her or being curious about her presence he demands, “What the fuck are you doing in here?!”

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/rena78/2557866747/”>Rena-mit-Cappuccino</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a

Thank You, Commenters!

This was not the blog I intended to write this evening.  No, I was going to finally write up the ditty about the Rapscallion Princess that’s been fermenting in my brain for the past week and a half.  Instead, I logged in tonight and was so overwhelmed by all of the comments that I received from my wonderful readers that I decided to take a moment to respond.

All of the comments were regarding my novella, A Garden. (It’s about the garden of Eden.  It’s funny.  It’s probably really offensive to some people. You can find more information on it here.) In fact, I received more comments on my webpage in the past couple of weeks than reviews I’ve received on my novel that’s been out for almost a year.  But hey, I’m just happy that someone is reading something.

So now let me just snuggle up with some vodka (infused by yours truly with cranberries and tangerines, thank you very much), some popcorn (popped in coconut oil because I care about my health) and respond to a few of the comments.

Breast Cosmetic Surgery writes: “This page really has all of the information I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.” 

No problem, BCS!  Glad I could be of service!

Asthma Inhalers writes: “Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!”

That’s great!  You know, I have so many projects going on – a new novel coming out in March or April 2014 and a series of novellas being released as a serial at the end of 2014, just to name a few –  that I’m just hoping to be able to post at least once a week.  If I don’t please feel free to take me to task via comment or email and I’ll get right on that.

Lower Back Pain writes: “m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, wonderful site!”

Hello, Carolina! Thank you for your kind words.  I know all about the boredom at work and I know how frustrating it can be when sites don’t load properly on your cell.  I’m so glad my site works well over 3G.  It was one of my original goals, considering I’m an office-worker-by-day myself.

Gluten Allergy writes: “I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You’re amazing! Thanks!”

I don’t know who your cousin I  but I’m glad that he steered you in my direction.  I regret to inform you that I am not your cousin, though I do have several relatives and friends who are currently living the gluten-free lifestyle and loving it.  Best wishes to you and your cousin.  Tell him to leave a comment next time.

Acne Scar Treatment writes: “Wow, this article is good, my younger sister is analyzing these things, so I am going to let know her.”

Hi, AST.  I was slightly confused by your comment. Your younger sister is analyzing the Biblical story of Adam and Eve? Or is she analyzing satirical parodies of the Biblical stories?  It doesn’t really matter either way: the more the merrier.  I’d be happy to discuss anything from theology to fiction-writing – oh, wait, that might be the same thing – with her.

www.youtube.com writes: “Can I get additional information somewhere else?”

Of course! Just click here to be taken directly to Amazon to purchase the novella.  Though I highly recommend reading A Creation first because if you don’t you might be a little confused by what I’ve done with the characters.  I hope you enjoy and if you do, please leave me a review on Amazon!

Diabetes Diagnosis writes: “Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your article seem to be running off the screen in Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The layout look great though! Hope you get the problem solved soon. Thanks”

No, thank you!  I’ll definitely look into it.

Best Cellulite Treatment writes: “Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!”

It is off topic but what a great story.  Thank you for sharing.  I LOL’d for sure!

Skin Cancer writes: “I drop a comment when I like a post on a website or I have something to contribute to the conversation. It is triggered by the passion displayed in the article I looked at. And after this post BLOG_TITLE. I was actually excited enough to drop a comment. I do have some questions for you if you tend not to mind. Could it be only me or does it give the impression like some of the responses come across like they are left by brain dead visitors? And, if you are writing on other online social sites, I would like to keep up with anything fresh you have to post. Could you make a list all of your communal pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?”

No offense or anything, SC, but I think I’d rather not “connect” with you, if you know that I mean. 

Face Beauty Tips writes: “I usually do not leave many remarks, but i did a few searching and wound up here BLOG_TITLE. And I actually do have a few questions for you if you do not mind. Is it only me or does it appear like some of these remarks come across like coming from brain dead individuals?   And, if you are posting on other online sites, I’d like to keep up with anything fresh you have to post. Would you make a list of all of all your social sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

I don’t think so, FBT.  I don’t think I want any further tips from you, considering it appears that you’ve already hooked up with Skin Cancer.

Help for Depression writes: “hi!,I like your writing very a lot! percentage we be in contact extra approximately your post on AOL? I need a specialist in this house to unravel my problem. May be that is you! Looking ahead to peer you.”

I’m not sure what you’re going for here but I’m a little concerned for your well-being.  Self-medication is not the way to go.  There are many wonderful treatment centers out there that can help you with your issues and I encourage you to contact any and all of them.  I wish you the best of luck!

Credit Repair Programs writes: “Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.”

I think there may be a language barrier at play here, but I’m willing to work through it if you are.  I’m glad you enjoyed the synopsis for my novella.  Please feel free to check out my other brilliant synopses here and here.

And last but not least, Debt Consolidation writes: “Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.”

Tee-hee – my section of content is pretty.  Suck it, bitches.  Also, please get some help.  As Mr. Mackey always reminds us, drugs are bad. 

Well, that’s it for tonight.  I do have a story for my Princess but it will have to wait until another day.  It’s time to edit some different words now.

photo credit: geishaboy500 via photopin

A Not-Quite Fairy Tale

The Rapscallion Princess

Once upon a time there was a princess. She liked princessy things, as most princesses do: ball gowns, tiaras, chatting up small woodland creatures and getting her shoes stuck in pitch on a flight of stairs with a prince in hot pursuit. You know, the usual.
But this princess was also different. She listened to loud music and belched in public.  She drank too much wine and slept in late.

A princess and her wine

A princess and her wine

On her bad days she could be cruel.  On her good days she could be cruel, as well.  To top it all off she was a terrible castlekeeper.
This princess didn’t like to do as she was told. She didn’t want to do what people expected of her, even when she knew that those people had her best interests at heart.  She made mistakes.  A lot of mistakes.  But even when she made the wrong choices she always hoped that she made them for the right reasons.  She was a rapscallion princess, which happens to be very fortunate for this story because, as everyone knows, they’re the most interesting type of princess around.

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