I published over 100 fictional stories and 35 digital illustrations for those stories on Medium in 2022. Last year, I wrote and painted in styles I’d been creating from for years. I’m trying new styles this year, so over halfway through 2023, and I’ve posted some first looks on Twitter and Threads.
But of course, I’m creating all the time.
I have things in process, but you won’t see my fiction before it’s had weeks of editing, and then more weeks to sit before re-editing with fresh eyes. I’m impulsive by nature, so I have a process that forces me to take time.
Because we’ve all had that night when we’ve posted a blog, texted a crush, or showed up on an ex-girlfriend's doorstep drunk and crying thinking it was a good idea…only to wake to the morning light and realize we’ve ruined our lives. Amiright?
Maybe that's just me.
I’ve discovered that Time is the Great Creator. Time allows for deepening reflection, better words, and mood changes that can challenge fictional scenes. I credit Time with my best work. Some of what you’ve read from me took years to get right.
I have two fictional series I’m working on: Women of the Sword and Savage Sinru: The Barbarian’s Daughter.
Both are action-adventure and set within the fantasy world of Darklaw. Both harken back to my adolescent creative desires for strong sapphic women doing violent things — my reaction against the 70’s pop culture and pulp magazine era I grew up in. You know, all those stories and paintings of strong, smart men and the silly, voluptuous women who desperately needed them. The stories served adolescent boys’ need for relevancy. What about adolescent girls, especially the lesbian ones? Who cares? Nobody made any money off them.
These days, it’s difficult to read about heroic men in a patriarchal world or to trudge through pages of penis sex. I mean, it’s no judgment on friends who love to write and read about male pirates and their penises, but for me, joy involves lesbians. And good coffee. Oh, and bacon.
I’ll be creating more illustrations with my stories. If you’ve followed me for a while, you’re familiar with my more realistic style of painting where I used mostly the digital airbrush in Procreate and some lighting effects. This year, I’m using digital dry brushes, pencils, charcoal, and water brushes to get a rough painterly effect. The result feels like the traditionally painted images I grew up seeing and creating.
Below is some artwork I’ve made to think about things. I played with styles and color. You won’t see these images in any stories.
I always wanted to create a graphic novel or a weekly adventure strip, but I find I write too many words for that media. So I’ll see if illustrating my stories satisfies me enough.