Tag Archives: Comic

Anthropomorphic dystopian 1

Anthropomorphic dystopian 1

The above is a mouthful, but that is not its real name, aren’t you relieved?– its real title will give away too much about what is in the story and we don’t want to do that this early on!

The general themes in the story are as follows;

Cyberpunk

Anthropomorphic animals

War

Revenge

Dystopian

Survival

Imprisonment

Inventions

And last but not least – comedy

The above story has been inspired by;

The animals of Farthing Wood

Wind in the Willows

Watership Down

Mad Max beyond the thunderdome

Secret life of pets

The hunger games

Nuclear warfare

Rude dog and the dweebs

Frankenweenie

And very much Tim Burton inspired

The above is the work that is likeliest to be sent out first and it is only really a couple of months away from being perfected to its final draft!  However, with the upcoming surgeries I am going to be having, it is best that this work should not be sent any sooner than mid-autumn, potentially before winter – though November to the second week of January is not the best time to send anything to an agent – it’s their busiest time of the year!

So unless it’s polished before NaNoWriMo 2022, it may not be sent until late January 2023, but I am working on it being sent out by early October!

This book will be a series, so this is only book one that will be polished by then and I know that agents are not keen on new writers sending in series as a first approach, but I think this is something special and I am sure they will see it too?

I have spoken to a handful of very close friends about this story and I have several people excited over it – this is why this story became my primary focus and I dropped my original first novel whilst I do this one.  Because, the other story I think should be my first novel – is actually less exciting to my friends than this project.

Some friends think I should ditch it as a novel and make it a comic, but I have had other friends suggest that my prose like writing does better as a novel and that to write it as a comic may actually kill the story’s effect overall.

Time will tell – it may be a case that it may turn into a comic a few years down the line, I don’t know if that sort of thing happens, but I suppose it’s possible?

Anyway – happy reading!

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When am I sending work to an agent?

Because of the Covid I had at Easter my plans to send work to any publisher by the start of Autumn 2022 has been shifted now to late winter 2022/2023; this is because I know that the current finished products are not ready to be sent to the world, but there is one that I am confident will be finished by the end of this year because it is so fresh in my mind and the most unique of the stories I have planned to send.

Basically I want my first published book to be special, who doesn’t?

Also I am in a quandary about one of the two books I am thinking about sending out – because one of those books I really want to make as a comic series, but I have little knowledge in creating comics and though I have studied a lot of “how to” books and watched a lot of “how to” YouTube videos, I am still not very confident about shifting a novelisation I have made into a comic book format, especially as I am not confident as an artist!

At the moment it is being written as a series of novels, I hope that eventually I will gain confidence in breaking it down into comic book form, because I think making this particular idea a comic book series would do better for it, than novels.  I doubt I would get advice on this from my future agent, but I hope it is something I could talk about with them eventually.

It is the second idea that is likely to be published first, the pure, simple, traditional novel with no comic book planning whatsoever.

Though I am sure that someday there may be comic book adaptions written by fans as it could work as that eventually too, but then again, most books of this particular genre end up in comic book format eventually.

Neil Gaiman’s snippet at the back of one of his Sandman comics about how to write comics has been a big help, as well as Peter David’s book “writing for comics” and a YouTube channel called Serkworks Art Lab.  Without these, I’d be even more clueless about what I am doing.

The thing is, I want the comic series, more than I want the novel idea out there first.  But, I am just so nervous about presenting a novel to an agent as a book, then saying, I can eventually break it down as comics, which was always my intention… how willing are agents to take on work like that?

I have to admit I am a little too afraid to approach them on that even as a question as I hate wasting people’s time!

The comic book I am writing has a lot of characters and action, but it is focused particularly on a group of three characters which work as a team together against a common evil, though the evil is from the same source, they too are different groups – it is like a gang warfare dystopian comic series with mild horror elements, to allow it to be sold to a young adult and possibly an older child audience.

To make life easier in explanation I will call this on my blog a dark fantasy side of my work, which would likely be under the pseudonym of my family entertainment side of my work.

Because I don’t want it to be too dark for family enjoyment!

It is about as dark as Watership down meets a tamer version of The Suicide Squad…

Just to tease a little there…

My actual novel which is likely to be sent out by the end of the year is more Warhammer meets Robocop, there are cyberpunk and fantasy elements in that story.

So there you have it, my plan for the year in writing.

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flaw clean

I have written 1277 words towards the novel today, but I have to say I am unhappy to continue without going back and finishing up the flaws I can see in the plot thus far.  Therefore tomorrow, I am unlikely to continue going forwards in this novel because I need to go back to the first chapter and add a few scenes that I feel will make the current scenes seem more complete. 

I am unhappy to just write the entire draft and then edit afterwards in a few weeks’ time, I am seeing flaws now and it is eating away at me and grating.

So I am still writing the 1k a day towards the same project, but I really need to be able to go back and add things, rather than just waiting and moving forwards.

This draft is meant to be completed with as few flaws if any by the end of it, because I want to polish it up and look for an agent for representation by autumn.  I know I can finish a whole draft in three to six weeks, but I like the story to stew before review for a month or two.

So with that being said, I hope that this story will be done and dusted by the end of June, I know however, that agents and publishers may require yet another draft overhaul and I am more than prepared for that – I am no idiot and research intensely everything I do, I am a bore and stickler about perfection and professionalism.

Along with all of this I am also trying to hone new skills in comic book writing and graphic novelisation – I am not confident in this yet, but I am hoping to gain in confidence shortly.

At the moment, the main idea I have for a comic is currently being written as a novel, just to get it out there and written and then I can adjust the whole thing for a comic.  I know it’s a long way around, but I am doing things how I know to do them for now.

Happy reading everyone!

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Lost notes

I have lost six pages to the steampunk project, I am furious.  I haven’t the clue where it has gone! 

I wrote the first idea of it around two years ago and I have box files, decorative envelopes and ring binders all in three different places around the house for the sake of space – but those notes aren’t in any of them!

To top it all, it is extremely painful to go searching for them all, because my spleen is having one of its bad swollen days so any movement is torture!

I have forgotten many of the planned characters for the comic, their names, I remember one was a capuchin monkey and I knew it was a girl, but I have completely forgotten the name I gave her, which was part of the fun and pun of the comic as she was a sidekick’s beleaguering girlfriend!

I hope I find it soon – thankfully it wasn’t something I wanted to write towards immediately, but it was something I wanted to find to help me practise some artwork for it.  I can only remember around eight main characters of the series.

I didn’t think it would be easy to make artwork of various kinds of apes, but I am actually finding them easier than I assumed, in fact, far easier than humans, which is funny.

Happy reading!

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Simplifying my art makes me happier

Yesterday I discussed how I am struggling with what comes to me naturally and what I really wanted to do in my writing; How I wanted to be a serious writer of adult fantasy and horror, but instead I am naturally drawn to corny humour, vampires and comedy fantasy as a natural lean to in my actual first draft writings.

Today I am focusing on the fact that I wanted to be a realist artist, who paints mostly portraits of my characters and some impressionistic landscapes and watercolours, but instead, I am naturally drawn to creating cartoonish characters suitable for children illustration or satire comics.

Increasingly a few of my writing and art ideas are becoming more and more comic ideas, not just funny, but comic as a whole, including the art I do.

My colour palletes are specific and consistent, my doodles are too and I am finding that comedy is punching its way through my art too!

I am creating funny creatures and doodling faces into random splatters and blobs and creating unique characters; with Henry’s help, we have been deciding names and personalities for the beings and progressively Henry is encouraging me to make stories of them.

This is something I have fought against in a professional way and kept to only doing this as a hobby with Henry – but more and more, I am starting to become more inclined in doing art consistently, when I do this, than when I do what I feel I am supposed to be doing!

I have noticed also that I am simplifying my art increasingly instead of refining it to become more detailed and realistic, to such an extent that it is very suitable for many children’s novels.  My style is looking similar to artists such as Quentin Blake, Katie Risor, Dr Suess and the likes.

Yet my aim was to be more detailed and to eventually brave steampunk and to perhaps be of a similar style to, Brian Froud, H.R Giger and Colleen Doran eventually, though my colour palette is very different.  I tend to like pastel primaries or as I call them, candy colours, or my darker palette which concentrates mostly on black, purples, orange and gold.

As I am fighting against my natural inclinations to develop a wanted style, I am finding that I am burning myself out in both art and writing and therefore becoming grossly unproductive.

When I ignore what I really want to become and focus on who I really am, I tend to do more and feel happier in myself doing those things.

But I do worry a lot about how simplistic my art is – I mean, other than children who would really be interested in this kind of art?

Something I did for inktober a couple of years back! See the injected humour… couldn’t help myself!
Pictures originally made to cheer Henry up after a bad day, being bullied at school. But instead, Henry is trying to collaborate a series of stories with me, regarding them.
created via blobbing random water colour paint on paper and drawing details of what my mind saw in those blobs.

Maybe I am a snob – no definitely I know I am a snob, it must be true.  Why else do I fight against the grain?  I must be… up until now a snob in denial?

Happy reading!

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Types of stories I have finished or are working on

Types of work that I am currently doing;

I have mentioned in several posts that there are certain themes I am writing in my novels and there has been a question of just how many novels are you working on at the moment?  Personally, I don’t know!  I know that sounds really funny to some, but I have been writing loads of stories almost my whole life and I have never really sat back and wondered how many I am working on, because I just write what I feel like at the time.  Yes, there are many novels which are 100% finished now, but to me they could still be in redrafting stages and many have been redrafted umpteempth times since two years ago.  I only started redrafting my 30yrs of work two years ago, simply because I never thought it would be necessary and also because I was never sure if I could cope with writing as a career.

I think I am ready to say, I am now ready for this career, hence why a lot of my writing habits have changed recently.

I am totally self-taught, I have no formal education and I was home educated by a dyslexic parent throughout most of my childhood and pretty much neglected by social services to get on with it without too much interference.  As an adult I have been kept too busy to take up education, but even now, I am trying to teach myself.  I can’t afford even the cheapest monthly fee on skillshare yet, but I am hoping by the end of the year that I can do some of their courses to learn how to punctuate properly and use grammar and anything else I need to improve my writing for both my blog and my novels, before finally approaching that agent I want to.  I have found an agent I like, but whether or not they will like me this time next year is another matter!

This post is going to tell you the types of novels I am working on or that have been finished, without revealing too much of the plot; but the list is not conclusive, these are just stories I am willing to throw out into the world in the next couple of years, with any luck!

  1.  You all know how much I love my vampires; so it shouldn’t be a shock to tell you that I have twenty seven different stories already completed in both my mind and on paper, along with full encyclopaedias and fictional historical booklets based on that world.  I have been working on this massive project since I was ten years old, yes ten years old!  That’s a whopping twenty eight years!  However, there is a list of seventy eight other stories I haven’t even finished yet, not even once that has been on the go for years, some are new. 
  2. Recently you have learned my second favourite creature to write about are dragons and there are approximately five books I have been writing, three of which are near completion with hopefully their final drafts. 
  3. Pirates are another fantasy thing I like to write about regularly and there are three separate pirate books to date.  One of which is near its final draft and another is an off-shoot book to one of the dragon novels. 
  4. Gargoyles also have their own books with this author, I have six novels with those and in two of them they are the main characters.
  5. I have written two novels with phoenixes as the main theme too.
  6. I have a whole series based on a character that lives in a hot air balloon, this is currently five books long, but there are more being planned.
  7. There are seven books based on robots. Half of which are fantasy more than sci-fi.
  8. There is a big series about giants, that is almost ten books strong and again, they are off-shoots of a dragon novel I have.
  9. There are loads of mermaid novels I have and various other new sea creatures, I haven’t actually counted those, but I do know that there are at least six finished.  These are standalone novels, not a series.
  10. I have four separate series of werewolves, one of which I am very passionate about and spend a lot of time on.
  11. There is a demon erotica series I have been working on for the past eight years; the series is actually nearly complete now.
  12. There are three zombie books that are both standalone novels, too, two of which are more fantasy than horror and very comedic.
  13. There are five separate afterlife series I am working on, some are fantasy, some are horror and some are dystopian.
  14. There are fourteen dystopian series I am working on too, two of which are based on religious ideologies.
  15. There is a series of fairy stories for children too, which is approximately seven books and I regard as novellas.
  16. There are four Christmas themed books I have written too.
  17. There are four comics too, or, I think one of them is actually graphic novel rather than comic – this is dystopian and steam punk in style.
  18. I also have two ghost stories.
  19. I have a selection of horror too, which could be considered a series, but they are all standalones really.
  20. I know I have 777 poems on this blog, but there are at least 5000 off the blog that have never been published online anywhere.
  21. I have nine musical compositions as well, that has never been published anywhere.
  22. I have six operas written too as well as musicals for theatre, but I am so not confident about those right now.
  23. I have a series about little people that were inspired by Land of the giants and the borrowers. 

There are probably more I haven’t mentioned yet, but these are the only things that come to mind right now for me.  I do have a lot of work here, but I just haven’t had the confidence about really throwing myself out there.  I am terrified of the consequences.  I don’t want fame, I want my work to be enjoyed and I really want to see them as movies, but I don’t want to have a famous face.  But I am getting used to the idea that maybe I will have no choice someday?  I can’t keep my work hidden forever, I didn’t write it for it to be hidden and forgotten – those novels are like little people to me, they are like creatures that need to be nurtured and their only food is recognition.  Their only source of nourishment is to be enjoyed and read, it keeps them alive!  I believe in BIG MAGIC, I believe ideas are alive!

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Pendulum says go comics

A pixabay image

I used my pendulum today to ask which piece of writing I should send off to the publishers first.  I asked about the seven vampire novels I have written, about the fantasy story based on leprechauns, the horror based on a demon down a well, the pirate fantasy, the two giant fantasy novels or the comic/graphic novel idea based on a post-apocalyptic world.  Strangely enough after asking these and knowing there was at least four more ideas I wanted to ask about, the pendulum surprised me with the comic/graphic novel.

The one I was least confident about, the pendulum picked.

Such is the way of the world, huh?

Because the pendulum chose this option, I am now expanding the story idea to make more than just one comic, just in case it told the truth that this idea would be successful enough to warrant publication.

Crazy I know, but the pendulum has never let me down before on major life decisions – in fact, when I have ignored the pendulum, I ignored it at great peril and bad things happened.  Best to just stick with what the pendulum says, for safety sake!

This pendulum has also saved me a tremendous amount of time with potentially stupid ideas.  If I have a new idea, I run it with the pendulum and if it doesn’t think it would do anything in the future, I simply don’t write it and sometimes that can be heart breaking, because I think some of those ideas were absolutely wonderful!  But then again, as the writer, I have no right to the opinion of what is going to be great or not – because as the creator of stories and art, it is quite usual that the things you lack confidence in are popular with the world and those you are most proud of are shunned by it – according to my own experience and the experiences of other writer and artists I have known that is.

P.S I have noted that wordpress has snuck in a way to colour in cut and pasted words now, yay!

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Readathon challenge August 2019

I am giving myself my own #Readathon challenge.  Between now and the 23rd of August, I hope to have finished 10 books and they are as follows;

Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton

Cabin at the end of the world by Paul Tremblay

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

Social butterflies by Michael Sanders & Susannah Hume

Riders by Jilly Cooper

Hanging out with the dream King – Neil Gaiman by Joseph McCabe

On Editing by Helen Bryant

Be your own literary agent by Martin Levin

Fantastic Fashion by Barbara Cox

And…

Mad Love by Paul Dini

I am probably being unrealistic about this challenge because I usually read three book of three hundred pages a week, on a good week and some of these books are beyond the three hundred page limit; Jilly Cooper’s ‘Riders’ alone is 919 pages long, for me that is an entire weeks’ worth of reading!

But the challenge is set and I am going to try my hardest to complete it with flying colours, because I really need to read a lot more than I do.  There is a massive backlog of ‘to read’ books in my Goodreads.com list, approximately ten thousand and it will take me fifty years to get to them all and by then I would have added another fifty thousand no doubt!

I love reading and I don’t do it enough to be honest.  I think online gaming has to end and reading and writing should consume me more than it ever has, because I don’t actually enjoy the gaming and I don’t find it very productive to be honest and I don’t like thinking of myself as unproductive, which is a great irony considering I have been like this for five years – ever since I got much worse with my health.

So this readathon is going to become the start of a new me – a new productive me.  I am determined to change my life.

Come with me on the ride if you like!

Set your own reading challenge or tackle the same books as I am in the same time frame, or decide that you are going to game less and read or write more.  Only you can change your life and make the decision to do productive things!

 

 

 

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Reading and writing past and present

I have always wanted to be a writer since I was ten years old when Mr Alistair a therapist/teacher told me that I had a gory imagination and extraordinary talent; back then my specialism was horror and it has only been in the past seventeen years that my writing has moved onto fantasy, comedy and poetry.  I started writing stories about alien invasions, vampires and alarmist ideas about climate change, El Niño and the end of the world.   I have for most of my life been a dedicated environmentalist, but since I talked so much in a spiritual forum about my concerns I lost confidence to continue writing this journalistically (is that a word? if not why not?), because I was accused of being a doom-sayer and me being a very uplifting positive person this accusation hurt me enough to stop me.

My first ever short story of any real length was based on Persephone in the underworld that I wrote when I was eleven.  I imagined how life must have felt like living in the underworld and even when I was that young I had a good clear understanding that not everyone is 100% evil or good, so I wrote about Hades in a positive form and it was very much influenced by my passion for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  This is a theme that has followed me through my writing life; if there is a misunderstanding in something, I am always willing to show another side to it – determined to prove to everyone that nothing is just black or white; it is a multitude of colours.  I can do this to the most indigestible of subjects too, according to a few people who have seen my handwritten work – thus I am sometimes known as an excellent mediator and diplomat, as long as the subject doesn’t get me too personally hot under the collar. 

One friend recently told me that they see me as society’s apologist, whatever that means.  I looked it up and I am not really that religious enough to be considered an apologist, though I suppose if you were to watch me answering questions whilst I am watching many quiz shows on religion, you’d say I seem to know an awful lot about religion for someone who isn’t interested in being religious.  You see I think this is where people misunderstand me – it is not that I am not religious, I am more humanist because I think that religion by and by causes division and I am all for world unity.  However I am a deeply spiritual person who literally believes in anything until it is absolutely solidly proven not to exist – hence why I leave milk and honey next to the stove at night for the house spirit (Nisse/elf) and ask permission to the tree itself before I prune it and honestly believe in various ancient customs and ideas – though I am still soul searching, but I will make this abundantly clear now, this is not an invitation to be converted to anything.  My ancestry history is so mixed, whenever I feel I should dedicate myself one way or another, I feel like I am upsetting some ancestor on the other side, so I don’t bother myself with dedication of that sort.

Anyway, this post was going to be about how I started writing and what I started with and where I have ended up.  I have written a lot of comedy and comic themes recently that I have noticed I have more and more of the fantasy and sci-fi comedy genre, if that is a genre.  I told Paul the other day that I feel like I am being possessed by the spirits of the deceased members of the Monty Python gang and Terry Pratchett, I try and write serious high fantasy and I can’t help putting in some silliness into it and I am seeing corny puns in everything!  The more I fight it, the funnier I get.

Unfortunately the comedy themes are rarely if ever posted on here, because I have made this mostly into a life update and poetry blog, rather than the intended fantasy blog, because I worry that my worst writing might be my best and my best my worse in the eyes of the world.  So I never really know which short stories and snippets to risk posting here.

I have decided to make this blog more of a writing diary, but again I have fears that I might reveal too much of my plans.  Fear is a major factor for me not posting much lately.

I have a handwritten diary I update about once a week on average because I keep forgetting to add to it – this diary is purely about my writing, my plans and any strange themes I have noticed that day or week.  For example, I have noticed I get a story idea in my head, then a book falls off the shelf in the library of a similar theme I was thinking about – weird coincidences like this happen a lot to me.  Then whilst television flicking, subjects of things I have been thinking about or themes of the day seem to be found everywhere, even on my sons chocolate wrappers as adverts at times!

I was thinking about sharing these day to day themes and the weird occurrences they have been discovered as part of my day to day blogging, as these things often develop into story ideas for me as I sit back and wonder what the universe wants me to do with these supposed signs?  What story is she prodding me towards and I believe this is why I have more ideas than actual work – I am never without a new idea, the problem for me is writing them down fast enough and concentrating on less than three at a time.  This is extra difficult for me because I am an attention deficit sufferer, I get bored doing the same thing or thinking about the same thing for longer than twenty minute bursts – hence why my current reading list on Goodreads usually has around twelve current books on the go!  It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a book, it just means I really can’t concentrate for more than twenty minutes.

Thinking about my reading list on Goodreads has actually just reminded me to make a point here on a matter a friend recently said to me the other day – she noticed that I have all these books on Goodreads I am currently reading but I only manage to read between ten and forty pages a day of maybe two or three books and she said that as far as she understands I am always reading but the Goodreads activities doesn’t prove it.  I said it is simple really when you consider that Goodreads is not designed to update magazines and newspapers and out of print books that are not listed on their site at all as well as local pamphlets and guides, game back stories, research websites, other people’s blogs and so forth. 

Here is a list of my magazine subscriptions and I do mean, I read them every time they are published either weekly or monthly;

Writing Magazine

Garden News

Sci-Fi Now

Gardeners World

Tesco

Yours

Pets @ home

Total TV Guide

Amateur Garden

Kitchen Garden

Lego club magazine

WWF membership news and stuff

Bibliophile

BBC History

New Scientist

Focus

Classic Rock

When I pick up a new magazine, that is the only thing I can read from beginning to end and it takes me around an hour to two hours – the reason why I can do that with a magazine rather than a novel is simple, the subject changes every few minutes.

Honestly, I am addicted to reading, I am addicted to downloading new information into my mind on a constant basis and I am a person who doesn’t enjoy sleep – I see it as a waste of time, but being ill, I have to sleep more than most and it literally drives me crazy!  All I want to do is think learn and do.

So there you have it!

Hello, I am Tina Cousins and I am a reading and writing addict and I don’t intend to cure myself of it, goodbye.

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One random thought

I drew a skeleton but it came out as a cartoon style skeleton, wasn’t my intention, I had hoped for it to look like some serious gothic artwork, but no, it’s comical instead.
Then a few days later I drew a cartoon style hedgehog and the expression on its face is more sinister than my attempt at the gothic skeleton, funnily enough I put both of these into a drawer and forgot about them for several months, then when I was sorting through my drawers I came across the two pictures and put them into the art pile I made, both were cut out and around. I didn’t realise it until I walked away and came back with a drink, that they both, together looked rather comical. The hedgehog was between the legs of the skeleton looking upwards at it, the skeleton looking nervous and the hedgehog sinister, made me think of a silly idea for a short story about a demon hedgehog gynaecologist and this skeleton being its patient – however, this idea is too dumb; I am not going to do it.

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