Prowling the Prose – Description: Voice

“Use no superfluous word, no adjective, which does not reveal something.”
– Ezra Pound

 

Well, well, well, web-wanderers, I am glad to see you indulging the more well-pleasing traits of your curious meanderings, and coming to this site to educate and inspire yourself with my werecat musings.

whim werecat lying down pose

For I, the Whimsical Werecat, have returned with another Prose Poster from my invaluable collection to share with you mangy miscreants, ah, ahem, marvellous mortals.

I have for you on this occasion, a fun and flavoursome list of descriptive words; adjectives, if you must use the proper term, but so many of you humans seem to hiss and shy from adjectives, when really, all you need is to know how to wield their splendour in the proper manner.

Behold, some colourful and vibrant words to describe the voice!

I know you are grateful for such an invaluable compilation.

You’re welcome.

prowling the prose description voice

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Patreon Anniversary – Content Sneak Peeks!

July 12th.

The date will officially mark the 1st anniversary of my Patreon Creator Page. Page? Site? Corner? Nook? Whatever the correct terminology, my Patreon Page where I post a bunch of extra content and neat exclusives for those who have chosen to become my Patrons (Patron = amazing, awesome, special, generous person who really enjoys my work and wants to invest in it to continue seeing it seed, blossom and bear fruit).

SO, with the anniversary coming up (so fast! How has it been an entire year?!), I thought I’d share with the general populace, and my awesome Dragon-seeking Subscribers, a little of what I do over on Patreon; the content I share, and other etcs 😉

FIRST UP …

On (most) Monday’s I post a Weekly Inspiration Quote, and add my own two cents of thoughts to help inspire and encourage my Patrons as the new week commences (though, technically, the new week starts on a Sunday *shrugs*).

I alternate between movie/ series quotes & quotes from real people. Movie quotes get placed with a respective image from said movie/ series, and the real-people quotes with photos that I have taken myself. I create all the quotes on Canva, and never use quoted images put together by other people.

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Example of a Movie/ Series Quote

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Example of a Real Life/ Photo Quote

So, something nice to boost into people’s lives at the beginning of their weeks.

Throughout the week I will post one or two things of varying medium; a picture or a link or a snippet of some current WIP; a piece from an artwork collection or themed project, or just story content ideas and sneak peeks.

LIKE:

commission cat noir and ladybug sneak peek

Sneak Peek of WIP Art Pieces!

OR:

DC Pop Vinyl Concept Art Eminroth and Dontriavien

FUN Side Projects – like my DC POP Designs!

OR:

Profile Ametrine

My most recently completed Character Profile (an on-going project)

 

There are also some pretty neat exclusives which I put up from time to time, including the Creative Clouds, Author Trivia, and The Antics of a Gamer Geek Author comics.

 

Creative Clouds is fun and unique in that it gives Patrons insight into how my mind sees things. And clouds are an especially malleable object to gleam inspiration from. It also gives Patrons an opportunity to snap of shot of their own cloud images which they are welcome to send to me so I can add it to the pile of future Creative Clouds.

Creative Clouds Majestic Lion

Creating Art from Clouds!

 

Author Trivia is something I schedule for Fridays, and is simply some fun little bonus content about me as an author/ geek/ human being etc. Every Friday is a different Fun Fact, and is given from the POV of myself, my sister, or one of my cats (just to keep things interesting! 😉 ).

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A little Fun Fact about me/ my life every week!

 

The Antics of a Gamer Geek Author are less frequent (I create them only when I have the time), but still a fun addition to my Patreon Page, and exclusive to the mid-to-higher tiered Patrons. Basically, something interesting or hilarious happens in my life in a sequence worthy of a comic strip and … voila! I immortalise it!

Antics of N 1.1

Comics about Real Life Incidents? YES!

 

As if all of that is not enough cool stuff to check out, I also (try) to do fortnightly Discord Chats (where Patrons can hop on over to the Dragon Calling chat room and talk and ask questions and basically just chill out with me and other Patrons).

There are other more personal rewards too, like acknowledgements in future completed projects (see the acknowledgements page on this site). Such acknowledgements will also be included in any future completed novels.

The highest tiered Patrons also receive a monthly gift in the mail; mostly signed artwork, though I plan to change it up a bit in the future. They ALSO get to see old sketches and drawings of mine from many years ago (which is the most exclusive of all as I had never planned to show such things to anyone ever again, lol).

Patrons also get the inside scoop on project updates before anyone else, as well as extra thoughts/ photos/ polls/ tidbits I care to add.

I’ve managed to continue to give content for a whole year now, and hope to continue doing so!

If you found what I offer interesting, you are more than welcome to jump on over to Patreon and investigate further.

patreon cover

And in celebration of my 1st Anniversary, I will be giving current Patrons (and any new July sign-ups) a super special preview … the whole first chapter of my current WIP to read: The Last Calling (Book 5 of the Dragon Calling Series).

Yay for Special Occasion Bonuses!!!

There are also so many other amazing creators on Patreon who you can check out and support (artists, singers, writers, photographers, bloggers, you name it!). I support a few myself, and plan to seek out more and join their Patronage in the future.

Its such a great platform and community, where creatives and creativity-lovers can come together and ensure creative things happen!

If you’re someone who loves the idea of taking part in supporting artistic work on a personal, connected level, then it really is worth checking out!

Patreon Home Page Here I Come!

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The Dragon Invasion Has Begun!

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass away.” – Earl Nightingale

Back in June, 2016, I had an (outrageous) dream of seeing the main character of my fantasy series–the young, brave dragon, Laeka’Draeon–come to life in the form of a plushie.

art to plushie

May, 2019, and that dream arrived in the shape of 20 boxes filled with 500 dragon plushies.

Plushie Boxes on the Driveway

20 giant boxes, looking a little battered from their trip across the ocean.

Nearly 3 years, from initial idea to physical fruition. Written down, that doesn’t seem like an awfuly extensive length of time. But the requirement to live it, moment-by-moment … trust me, it’s a heck of a long time to fight for a dream that looked to be drowning from the get-go.

It’s nice to read and be inspired by quotes like Follow Your Dreams, and, Never Give Up, but I’d also like to throw in a regular reminder to Prepare for the Mind Battles, and, There Will be Maulings from Pain, Doubt, and a Thousand Whys.

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Why am I trying to do this?!

The months dedicated to the plushie project were not filled with “I can do this” and “Wow, look at all the support I am getting!”; those were only scattered bread crumbs, broken off and dropped along the trail by some deep inner determination that made no practical sense, but was fiery enough to stay alive and burning, even during the most discouraging of times.

Dozens upon dozens of hours were poured into planning, designing, promotional attempts, followed by bouts of falling into pits of despair, frustration, doubt, and the occasional ‘Why am I even doing this?’.

This was a dream birthed from starry-eyed aspirations, lofty imaginings, and a hope that seemed almost too hopeful for grounded and gritty reality, and the truth of the hard and near-impossible road that made up the majority of this project’s journey. You can read a little more on my flailing to get the project off the ground here: Plushie Project Summary.

BUT, I did have support, and that support (however small in number) was what helped to keep my determination alive, and from my determination, the plushie dream. And from the dream, reality!

Ponyo Hug 2

Thank You to my wonderful Supporters!

And now, here they are, at last: 500 super cute, super awesome, limited edition Laeka’Draeon plushies.

A veritable invasion!

Plushie Swarm

Only 19 of the 25 Plushies from the FIRST Box!

One Plushie on the Loose

Plushies waiting their turn to get sorted!

The truck was due to arrive May 1st, and rolled up around 4:30pm (and yes, I had been waiting all day in anticipation).

Plushie Delivery Turck has arrived

The Plushies coming off the truck!

 

Once I transferred the boxes inside, I began the slow, painstaking (but exciting) task of unpacking one box at a time, removing the plushies, unsealing them from their plastic bags, giving them some careful TLC of massaging and tweaking (x25 plushies per box makes for some unfortunate crushing), signing their tags, putting them back in their respective bags, and sorting them into storage places around the house.

All these dragons in a row square

Working my way through Plushie TLC.

Kyo Doesnt Like the New Attention Stealers

Kyo the cat is suspicious of all the green interlopers!

I’ve only sorted 2 boxes so far … only 18 more to go!

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On top of box sorting, I need to put together the pre-orders and ship them out to their eager owners. I will also need to buy some additional storage supplies, because hundreds of plushies have to fit somewhere! I don’t want to keep them in the boxes long-term, as I hate the idea of them remaining squashed and misshapen. They weren’t originally supposed to come in only 20 boxes (it was supposed to be 40); not sure what when wrong during the shipping process, but I’ve talked with my correspondence at the toy company and they said they’d look into the matter.

Anyway, the dragons are here now, and I need to remind myself that that in itself is an incredible feat!

Etsy Dragon Photo 1

45cm x 30cm of awesome dragon plushness!!!

I have the plushies available on my Etsy store now, so all dragon-lovers and dragon-seekers can get their paws on an awesome limited edition plushie!

Grab yourself a Laeka’Draeon Plushie HERE!

OR, why not join me over on Patreon? I will be doing a Dragon Plushie Promotion this month–in that if I reach a certain number of Patrons on Patreon, they will all go into the draw to WIN a Laeka’Draeon plushie! And not just any plushie, but one of the super limited plushies that come with a numbered certificate!

Plushie with Certificate

You’re more than welcome to investigate my Patreon page here: Patreon you say?

patreon cover

Well, there you have it; one of my long-term projects finally come to fruition!

It was definitely an experience. One I don’t really wish to go through again, to be honest, unless I have the proper finances to back it up straight off the bat. But I am glad the plushies are a part of the world now. And I hope you are, too!

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This is a great accomplishment!

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Cover Reveal for The Last Calling

This is it Dragon-Seekers, the last Book Cover Reveal of the Dragon Calling series …

I hereby proudly display, The Last Calling, Book 5 of Dragon Calling.

2018 Book 5 Cover Art 1

The official cover! 99% locked in.

I am both incredibly excited to be arriving at this point, but also strangely unsure, and perhaps even a tiny bit uneasy. My journey with this series has been long (coming on 16 years!) and intimate (these characters have been a part of my life for so long, shadows in my mind, colours in the words that I write, expressions of energy pulled from my own soul). It’s strange to consider that soon the story will come to an end (at least, the main story).

Though at present I am still in the process of writing the 5th and final instalment of the series (I’m about half-way through the first draft), I wanted to share the cover with you in early celebration of the upcoming conclusion to this wonderful work that has enraptured me for so many years (and my wonderful readers over the past 6 years). I know where the story is going and how it will end, so the cover content (images and title) holds incredible significance.

As with all the other books, the theme of the transiting time-of-day continues as a prominent element in the cover. We have come full circle; KIN SEEKER held a night background, and now THE LAST CALLING does, too. The character(s) featured on this cover have been with the story since the beginning, and have both played a surreptitious yet vital roles in the events of the series.

And now, in the fifth and final book, readers will finally uncover the mysteries and motives of both characters in what I hope will be something truly memorable (and perhaps a little surprising).

As for the cover itself, it proved a reasonable challenge, though not to the degree of the previous book (The Sword of Stars). There’s a lot of light elements going on in this piece, as well as semi-transparent layers (Fargo, as well as Opal Eyes’ shirt), both of which were time consuming, but not terribly difficult. I suppose the real difficulty was balancing the effects of all the light energies (making the image look powerful, but not too busy). What do you guys think? Did I manage to pull it off? I welcome your feedback. 🙂

Oh, and just to give you even more of an appetiser, here is the back cover Book Blurb (still subject to alterations):

“At last I can show you. At last you will see; see the truth that has brought us all to this desperate brink. The truth of the dragons, and their calling.”

The power of three Beacon Thrones has been temporarily restored. One Throne remains. Along with Belzor’s revelation, Laeka’Draeon is at last closing in on obtaining enough power and knowledge to uncover the mystery of the dragons’ disappearance.

Sadukravon and his hobgoblin hordes have struck the first blow against Valadae, forcing the armies of the allied kingdoms to take action. A second Gathering looms on the horizon, but without the might of the dragons or the magic of Klonnoth Aire, the first counter-attack could be Valadae’s last.

Laeka’Draeon and his companions undertake their final trials under a terrible weight of urgency, coming face-to-face with astonishing revelations, and devastating truths.

At last, all mysteries will come to light under the looming shadow of a battle that will shape the future of Valadae and all its creature-kinds.

 

There is no official release date set for the book, but I am hoping I get my act together enough to have it finished and ready and printed in time for a late Nov/ early Dec launch this year.

Things I need to do before Book 5 can launch.

  • Actually finish writing the book (hopefully have it done in 4 months)
  •  Self-edit book + have early beta readers go over manuscript (approx 3 weeks)
  •  Send book to the editor (will take about 4 weeks)
  • Go through polishes and scrubs suggested by editor (another 2 weeks)
  • Give book to proof-readers for final rounds (give around 2 weeks)
  • Work on Promo-styled posters for Book 5 (the Enemies & Allies styled posters)
  • Format book into paperback and eBook editions
  • Add Book 5 into Goodreads, and also assign both the paperback and eBook editions ISBNs on the Thorpe Bowker website
  • Organize to have pre-ordering available
  • Work on paperback layouts and send book through to printers
  • Give copies of book to Distributor + QLD Library & Australian National library
  •  Organise a special Grand Finale book launch event (to celebrate the completion of the series)
  •  Officially launch book!

Can I do all that before the end of the year? I guess we’ll see!

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My Chronicled Highlights of 2018

 

2018 is nearing its end. But the road continues onward, into 2019 and beyond. There are hills ahead, and valleys and curves, obscuring the horizon. Where will the road take me? I’ll trek onward … and find out.

This year, for me, has been one of great achievements, and the completion of some pretty big goals.

I finished Book 4 of my series and launched it into the world.

2018 Book 4 Cover Art

I also wrote and illustrated a children’s book (yet-to-be-published).

 

I solidified a film and branding contract with an agency (who now represent me and my IPs).

FILM BRAND MANAGEMENT

I attended the Sydney Supanova convention for the first time and was able to meet Stephen Amell (Arrowverse) and Trina Nishimura (voice actress)!

N and Arrow pic

I started work on Book 5 of the Dragon Calling series, as well as content for the 3rd & 4th Companion Guides.

(can’t show any pictures or the cover image because SPOILERS … and, special content like that is reserved for my Patrons over on Patreon).

Speaking of Patreon, I decided to expand my creative horizons and launched my very own PATREON PAGE!

patreon cover

I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time, and managed to hit the 50,000 word goal!

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I found investors for my plushie project, and now the plushies are officially going through the production process.

Dragon Plushie Order Form Image

On top of which, I managed to create several new Special Edition and Cross-over print art to sell at future conventions, as well as some pretty cool commissions.

 

And, somehow, I still managed to keep on top of my blogging (… sort of 😉 ).

Of my top 10 goals I made for 2018 (some of those are mentioned above), I accomplished 6 of them; and some were pretty impossible-looking at some stages. To that end, I am very satisfied with what I have been able to achieve.

Does that sound like a lot? I’m sure some of you work on so much more stuff than me, and achieve three times as much, but for me, this year has been BIG.

But if I’m honest, the ratio of accomplishments to self-praise at each success is … still lacking. But I did try! I tried to give more attention to celebrating the results of my efforts than I did in the past. I made a conscious effort to be more aware of the “goal-being-reached” aspect, and I certainly felt a sense of relief and accomplishment in completing each one. But I have this habit of taking it all in at a quick glance, before turning to face forward, and look ahead at what is to be done next. Always looking far ahead, seeing the grandness of my visions, the completion of my goals; it is what has enabled me to achieve all that I have so far. I envision my goals, and I chip away at them, keeping the vision in mind. Always seeing things before they are there for others to see.

And while I may be able to dream and then do … I still have trouble celebrating the milestones of my efforts; if it weren’t for my sister (and occasionally my other house-mate) stepping in and enforcing a few special celebratory evenings with take-out, wine, and the occasional special gift, for the most part I wouldn’t bother rewarding myself.

I think I need to spend these final few days of 2018 just going over all I have managed to do this year, and simply give myself a pat on the back.

I don’t know what 2018 was like for you; maybe it was amazing, or maybe it was full of stumbling blocks and pain. But I hope, if anything, you allow yourself the time to look back on all you have achieved (or survived) and celebrate where you are now. You are alive (for one thing) which means you have the opportunity to make next year better than this one.

Next year will be another big and amazing year for me. But aside from all my writerly and creative goals, there are a couple of personal goals that I really need to work on. If I gave as much attention to those, as I did to my creativity, they wouldn’t be the large weed-infested gardens they are now (well, not really large or infested, just … somewhat neglected patches of life in need of some TLC).

And I guess that will be another goal to work on in 2019.

See you all in the New Year!

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My NaNoWriMo Adventure!

“There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking.”
– Brian Tracy

 

This year I participated in the NaNoWriMo challenge for the first time!

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Time to WRITE ALL THE WORDS!!!

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, NaNoWriMo (aka National Novel Writing Month) is a internationally recognized event where writers from all around the world challenge themselves to write 50,000 words in the span of 30 days (November being the chosen month).

I’ve known about NaNoWriMo for years, but never imagined wanting to put myself through such an extraordinarily mind-flogging experience. Well … never say never, because you never know what the future holds; and this year is proof, as I ended up compelled to dive in and give it a go!

My story of choice: Book 5 in my Dragon Calling series (which I had intended to start writing next year). Well, if inspiration calls, better not dally!

Now, for those who don’t know, I do not consider myself a fast writer. I haven’t the talent of regularly pulling words from my mind in vast swathes of scenes and paragraphs at a time (enough to compile word-mountains to complete three novels in a year, type of thing). Some people have that talent! And wow, I tip my hat to them. But me? Well, I’ve been working on my current fantasy series for 15 years now. The shortest length of time I managed to accomplish a complete first draft was last year, when I worked on the 4th book (taking around 9-10 months). And I attribute that success to all the previous years of practice and self improvement, and the fact that the story is already established (for the most part), I was well acquainted with the main cast, and I had no pressing deadlines in any other area of my life.

I guess those reasons were also why I decided to try my hand at NaNoWriMo this year, even though the pace of my usual writing habits are the complete opposite (but, I suppose I’m not the only one there, otherwise NaNoWriMo wouldn’t be the challenge that it is).

NaNoWriMo Prep List

Some great ideas from NaNoWriMo for their writers!

So, with my story already established, characters already well-known, key plots points already set in place, the only real challenge for me was to try ad slog out 50,000 words within a month (something I have never even remotely done before). I spent the second half of October mentally prepping, as well as putting into note-form all the important details and plot points needing to take place, and pinning all that onto a cork-board for easy viewing. Did I review the board regularly during my NaNoWriMo writing spells? … hahaha, not really. But the fact that I spent a lot of time beforehand thinking them over, jotting down their timelines, and just simply writing them in bullet-point form, helped to sear them into my mind.

So, November 1st arrives, and I take a deep breath and take the plunge!

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Let’s DO THIS

NaNoWriMo Day 7 Stats

The first week was great! I conquered each average-word-count day with extra words under my belt. I was aiming for above-average because I knew there would be at least 3 days where I wouldn’t get in a single word (I had a convention to attend).

NaNoWriMo Day 13 stats

You can see on the chart where the 3-day convention took place!

After the convention, I was behind the average so I kicked it up a gear managed to get in (what ended up being) my best word-count for any one day. Feel those fingers burn, baby!

BFCP

*scenes burst into life!*

For the most part, I maintained momentum, even though I couldn’t help but go back over certain scenes and chapters and tweaking a few things. Dead-line or no dead-line, I can’t just shovel words out into unintelligible heaps to painfully sift through at a later date. I sculpt as I go, even if it’s still rough sculpting.

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Mmmm, how best to re-word this sentence before I move on …

NaNoWriMo Day 22

Ever upward I went, and at the end of each day I felt a quiet and surreal sense of accomplishment. I was DOING NaNoWriMo … and I wasn’t failing like a Magicarp flailing on land!

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This was (thankfully) NOT me!

majicarp whack

THIS was me! 😀

There was only one day, really, where things got difficult. I had to really wring my brain (not literally, otherwise, eww!) to squeeze out the words, and even then I only managed around 500. I felt like I’d been trying to solve all the secrets of the universe. My brain was like, “What are you doing to me! Please, I beg you, no more.”

sadness collapse

It’s sooooo MUCH!

My response: “Oh but there is more my friend! We are not done! Come on, we got this!”

WQbyiOA

Yeah, I got this!

And back I dove, into the mix of messy mire and dazzling universe of the imagination. The days churned by with an average of 1,800 words a day. Until, come the 28th …

BOOM!

NaNoWriMo Day 28

I made it. I survived.

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*me emerging from my writer’s nest*

I had no aspirations to try and squeeze in a few more Ks to reach 55K or anything; I had another project I really needed to get done asap, so I spent the final NaNoWriMo days working on that instead.

BUT I DID IT! My first NaNoWriMo! And from it I learned that I could get an impressive word-count out within the span of a month. Even though I’m only about half-way through the draft of the book, it’s a great boost! Only 50,000 words left to go, lol.

NaNoWriMo Winner Certificate

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Time to celebrate!

Will I participate again in the future? Who knows; maybe! Will I make a habit of gutting my brain of so many words for month-long stretches … umm, no way. I know the limits of my constitution and sanity; my already-established writing habits work just fine for me, thank you very much.

SO, who else participated in NaNoWriMo this year? Feel free to share the highlights of your adventure in the comments!

And thanks for reading about mine. It was certainly a new experience.

 

“Quit saying you don’t have time. You have time for what you make time for.”
– Bryant McGill

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More than the Sum of Your Talents

“I hope that all of you are inspired to maybe not journey across the ocean like Moana does, but to journey to find yourself.” – Auli’i Cravalho (Actor/ Singer)

 

Moana: an amazing (one of many) film by Disney, filled with powerful themes, funny scenes, interesting characters, and inspirational moments.

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There is incredible depth to the story and it’s characters; so many facets you can look at and glean something interesting from. The tale focuses on Moana, daughter of the chief of Motunui, and chosen of the ocean to sail far from her home into order to restore the heart of Te Fiti.

There is so much we can learn from Moana’s journey; how she sees the world and the actions she takes to define, not only herself, but ultimately everyone in her sphere of influence (and, in ripple effect, beyond).

But in this blog, I’m focusing on a different facet of the movie. In fact, I’m focusing on a different character altogether.

Maui.

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Strong, self-assured, charismatic, Hero of Men (and women), with many prominent talents … and an ego the size of the ocean itself. And of course, there is the highlight of Maui’s confidence and power: his magical fish hook.

And this is what I want to settle on: Maui and his fish hook.

Now, Maui is not a character I can relate to much on a personal level; I am nothing like him as far as personality or disposition. But one common thread connects us, and it is something that really resonated with me when I first watched the movie … Maui’s relationship with his fish hook.

And you’re thinking “Whaaat do you mean by that?”

For me, Maui and his hook are a symbolic reflection of myself and my talents (as a writer and illustrator).

So with that comparison presented, I’ll continue.

Maui places high value on his magical accessory, understandably. With it, he has the power of metamorphosis; he can shape-shift into any creature he desires, and that creature is imbued with his demigod strength and cunning. With his hook he wrangled the sun and pulled islands from the sea. He cannot help Moana fulfill her quest without it, and therefore the pair must retrieve it from the conniving Tamatoa’s lair before they can continue on to Ta Fiti.

It’s pretty clear that Maui’s hook plays a vital role in all he does. His hook is his power.

Moana_Maui_Fish_Hook

But, it is also his shortcoming. Not because it’s absence renders him without magical powers (because that’s true); no … the shortcoming lies in the fact that Maui places his self-worth into the hook, and in doing so loses his true power: the power of knowing who he really is.

But Maui is not the sum of his awesome fish hook powers. The fish hook does not make him him … but of course, he does not have this revelation at first. As the movie’s story arc progresses, we follow Moana and Maui’s journey as they each come to their own revelation of self-discovery and self-worth. We come to the crux of Maui’s inner beliefs when his fish hook is damaged by the duo’s first confrontation with Te Ka.

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Maui is angered and aggrieved and ends up abandoning Moana and her quest, over fear of losing his fish hook, and subsequently his powers (which, in his mind, is also the equivalent of all his worth and value as Maui the Hero of Men).

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This triggers Moana’s own personal inner crisis, but, as we all know, both find their way out of their dark hours, and team up to continue (and ultimately succeed) in their quest.

But I am most impressed with Maui’s turn-around. Despite his enormously egotistical disposition, when push came to shove, he found understanding in the importance of Moana’s quest, and the importance of his role in it. He stepped down from his ‘I am the Chosen Hero’ status, and fell into the role of guardian and helper, ready to sacrifice his most important possession (his hook), and ensure Moana (the true Chosen Hero of this tale) fulfilled her destiny.

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“I’ve got your back, chosen one. Go save the world.” – Maui

And, more importantly, he came to the realization that he was Maui, with or without his fish hook. He was Maui.

And it is from his place of humility, of learning that others saw value in who he was as Maui, and not Maui with the Magical Fish Hook, that his hook is restored to him.

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I found this arc in the movie personally convicting, but empowering.

I am guilty of projecting my worth into my talents. And as consequence, when I felt my talents were falling short of my expectations for them, I fell into a deep personal sense of failing. That I was the failure. Even though I knew (in my head) that was not true … I had trouble planting that head knowledge into my heart.

But I have since come to the new, and right, revelation. I have my talents, but they are merely tools to wield to help me fulfill my purpose. My talents are only a small part of who I am as a whole. I am not the sum of my talents. I am so much more.

I know that if I lost my abilities and was unable to get them back, that I would still be me, and I would still be loved and valued.

This understanding, that has (finally) moved from my head to my heart, is so freeing.

And I wanted to share this revelation with you. In case there are others out there like me, like Maui, who have made the mistake of setting up their self-worth in their talents (or status, or number of social media followers, or money earned etc).

I am more than the sum of my talents. You are more than the sum of yours.

Believe that, and be free of all the misplaced expectations and striving.

 

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Wolves, Supanovas, and a Patreon Launch!

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”
– John F. Kennedy

Howdy to all my fellow Dragon-Seekers and web-wanderers. HOW is it over half-way through the year already?

Even though 2018 is sprinting along like a cheetah charged on red bull, I’ve somehow managed to accomplish a few (pretty awesome) things.

First off, in April, Book 4 of the Dragon Calling series launched!

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Be freeeee!!!

And I’ve been hearing nothing but good things from readers; in fact, many have been saying that Book 4 (The Sword of Stars) is their favourite so far!

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That makes me so happy!

In the months leading up to Book 4s publication, there was a lot of work in getting things finalised and ready, but I was also blindsided by new inspiration and began working on a fresh project (completely unrelated to the Dragon Calling series).

The idea for the project revolved around a wolf. A happy and dreamy, but lonely wolf.

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A wolf story? Oh please, do tell!

I worked on the project throughout the first half of this year (on top of juggling all the Dragon Calling stuff) and completed it at the end of May; an illustrated children’s book called Lonely the Wolf, complete at around 700 words and 15 full-colour illustrations (aimed at ages 5-8).

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Front Cover Sneak Peek!

Come June, one of Australia’s biggest pop culture conventions was looming (the Sydney Supanova), and I had booked a double table as an exhibitor! That was all well and good, but there were other things to organize: food budget, fuel budget, car hire, accommodation and all that super fun stuff. I am so grateful I had help in those areas; I could not have pulled off going to such a big event without the effort and support of my parents, sister, and close friend.

And so, teaming up with my sister and close friend, we road-tripped 13hrs from the Gold Coast to Sydney and took on the massive 3 day Supa Event!

I got to meet the Green Arrow himself, Stephen Amell!

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And was able to get a photo with him!

I also met the bubbly and super-talented voice actress, Trina Nishimura.

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And she signed my Dragon Calling/ Attack on Titan Cross-over pic!

The Sydney trip and all that entailed was a full-on but invaluable experience. So many great things happened … except I was disappointed in the sales of my books. I still made sales, of course, and met some great new fans, but when I put in soooo much effort and expense (as well as others putting in effort and expense on my behalf) only to fall short of reaping a satisfying reward … well, let’s just say it was a bit disheartening.

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I tried so hard and felt like I had failed …

Thankfully, my sister snapped me out of it (as she always does ❤ ❤ ❤ ) and I was reminded of the fact that when you are pursuing a dream, no matter how many times you “fail” or fall short, the important thing is to get back up and keep going. Learn from each experience; take the good from what you go through; look at all the things you can be grateful for; and press on.

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Don’t give up

And so I did. I wrote down all the highlights and positive things that happened over the road-trip & convention and focused on those. I also forced myself to take a break after we returned home. One week of recuperating, mentally resting and re-inspiring myself. That one week kinda turned into two … but during that time I worked on my nephew’s birthday gift (a commission of Jinx from League of Legends), plus a few paragraphs for the next DC Companions Guides, so I wasn’t completely idle.

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Time for a little bit of … CHAOS!

And I also had a revelation (well, more like a courage boost) about the Patreon platform.

Over the years I’ve had a few people ask if I ever thought about putting myself on Patreon as a means of support from fans. I thought about, on and off, but never really felt led to pursue that avenue … until now.

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So, I am now officially on Patreon, and people can offer patronage on my behalf and become my patrons! If you’ve ever thought about financially supporting a creative person (beyond social media likes or one-time item purchases), then Patreon is the place for you to check out!

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Your support would mean so much!

AND, not only am I now on Patreon, but I am officially signed up with a film and branding agency, AND both the Dragon Calling series and Lonely the Wolf story have had their pitches (for film and publishing contracts) completed and sent out to various companies, studios, and publishers.

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So exciting and nerve-racking!

Fingers crossed we hear some amazing news in regards to that, soon! But of course, those who decide to join my Patreon community will get all the latest news and updates first, so if you’re interested in following my journey from here on out, Patreon will be the best way. 🙂

So … now that I am feeling rejuvenated, I will continue to do what I do best: work hard at bringing stories to life through novels and illustrations. I thank all who have followed and supported my journey so far, and I give a pre-emptive shout-out to all those who will follow in the future.

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‘Tis a grand adventure, indeed

Cheers to my Dragon-Seekers!

 

 

Disclaimer: I do not own or deserve credit for any of the gifs or pictured quotes I have used in this blog. I am, however, the artist/ owner of the Jinx illustration, the DC/ AoT Cross-over, and Lonely the Wolf cover.

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Prowling the Prose – Common Phrases Commonly Phrased Wrong

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” – Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

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That phrase you keep saying … it is rendered utter nonsense by your inaccurate use of it.

Greetings once more, web-wanderers and seekers of digitized stimulants.

If you are looking for something to pique your interest, add to your library of knowledge, or polish your skill at wielding the English language by better navigating its wonderland-ish labyrinth of quips and quotes, jargon and gibberish … you have come to a very worth-while page!

And  while the information I so generously bequeath to you in this post is indeed offered many times over by other wordy web-stringers, its intrinsic value lies in the wonderful fact that I, the Whimsical Werecat, am the one giving it to you. 😉

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There is no need for thanks. I am sympathetic to how troubled and tripped-up you lolloping little humans can sometimes get when it comes to your own and metaphors, personifications and phrases.

So, here is a helpful chart to steer you back onto the well-lit path of linguistic excellence!

You’re welcome.

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Goldnova 2018

Well, that’s a wrap! Another Gold Coast Supanova Convention come and gone.

N and Chii at Booth

But boy, was it a blast!

This year the floor layout was excellent, and the crowds were immense (so, thank goodness for the efficient layout).

I do believe we can thank the amazing Guest line-up for how incredibly buzzing the weekend was.

This year, we had the likes of Peter Capaldi, John Barrowman, Tom Welling, Pearl Mackie, Alan Tudyk, and Elizabeth Henstridge; and that was just some of the amazing actors and actresses (in amongst a great compilation of talented voice actors, comic artists, TV series stars, authors, and cosplay champions).

And that’s not even including all the incredible talent found in the artist alleys!

And this year, timing with the Supanova event, I officially launched the 4th book in my Dragon Calling series.

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The Sword of Stars is released!!!

And it made me so very happy when fans came scrambling to my tables and launching themselves at the SoS display, their faces bright and bursting with excitement.

I hope you all enjoy this next installment of the series, as much as I enjoyed writing it! 😀

I didn’t get any photos or signatures from anyone this time around (I’m saving that for some of the guests that will be attending the Sydney Supanova Convention in June), but I got a few photos with some amazing cosplayers (and there were a lot of amazing cosplayers this year!).

 

And there you have it. Don’t forget to grab yourself a copy of The Sword of Stars! Paperback and eBook versions are available at all major online retailers (Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble etc), but you can also grab yourself a personally signed copy via my Dragon Calling Store over on Etsy! Australian residents can also order the book through any bookstore. Just request it over the counter.

Until next time Dragon-Seekers!

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