Gnome Art Update

Lately I am searching the web to find project ideas, as well as coming up with some original plans to bring my Gnome garden to life. I have taken some creative licence with my version of gnomes. I decided that they are more like an american version of leprechauns, and are the size of fairies. This means that the little gnomes I create will be approximately 5-6 inches tall. Part of this decision was made because I like the idea of humans seeming gargantuan compared to them, and because this conveniently puts them at a scale to use dollhouse items. It also makes the idea of them riding on rabbits seem more plausible- a foot tall fairy would be to heavy for a rabbit, I would think.

On this note, I have fallen in love with Pintrest. I have found a wealth of ideas for my pictures by searching for fairy gardens. I am endlessly impressed with people’s DIY ideas.  Here is a picture of some of the supplies I have already purchased for my project. It is in no way a complete inventory, but it gives you an idea of where I am going with it. (and why I am so distracted lately by all the possibilities)

supply pic

A sampling of my Gnome garden making supplies.

 

In addition to what is pictured here, I have tons of polymer clay, felt fabric to make the gnome clothes, a flurry of Popsicle sticks, and various other  mediums to make items I didn’t buy (such as plates and tiny gnome doors).

There are a few things I need that I lack the funds for, which is partially where my Kickstarter project comes in (the other part is the actual publication). For example, I need realistic looking stuffed rabbits- which I have found online, but tend to be a tad expensive. If I knew how to make them myself I would be all over it; however, I am well aware of my limitations, and that is where my skills are lacking.

In the interest of showing you what I can do with these pictures once they are completed, I have a few samples below. Keep in mind I have not come to a firm decision on how the final project will look, but I promised you updates, and I shall not disappoint.

bird at garden party

I went for a bit of a watercolor effect, then added edges.

garden party

Another angle, also with watercolor effect.

great illistration sample

In this picture I created the drawing effect, and also changed the color a bit to make it look like a cold day.

presented as is

This picture is unedited. I used an angle that looks like we are spying on the gnomes.

special effects

This keeps the picture realistic, however I added a little special effect magic to give the lantern light.

working garden 2

In this picture I used a cutout effect, making the image much more simplistic and cartoon-like.

working garden

This is a 2nd sample of the cutout effect, also with an adjusted color balance.

As always, I would love to know your opinions. Please let me know what you think in the comments section below.

 

*Please note that these images are my intellectual property. I do not give anyone the right to use or copy them without written permission from me.

Tiny Voices

I heard the whispering again last night. Tiny voices, giggling and calling to one another. I can hear them echo down the hallway into my bedroom. When I first heard them I would wake my wife. She would elbow me and tell me to go back to sleep, and so I would.

My wife has told me more than once that the voices are a dream. Just silly made-up things that my busy mind creates while I’m sleeping. I have tried to tell her I can hear them when I am awake, but she shushes me every time I bring it up. She is a practical woman. Things are what they are and nothing else. Voices do not whisper at night, and that’s that. In the light of day it is hard to argue with her, and so I let it go. I hardly bring it up anymore.

That doesn’t stop me from hearing the voices at night when everyone else is sleeping. I listen silently, and try to go back to sleep. I repeat my wife’s practical explanation to myself; they are a result of my tired imagination.

But last night was different. Last night I saw a tiny light pass by through the crack under my bedroom door. It looked just like the light of a lantern. With my wife asleep, and the sun gone, it didn’t seem so farfetched that I might not be dreaming. My first thought was to elbow her, and tell her about the light. But it had already passed by, and she would probably be grouchy and tell me to go back to sleep. So instead, I did what I had never done. I got out of bed, and followed the light.

I had to hurry, the light was already at the end of the hallway.  It led me into the kitchen, where candles lit a scene I never imagined I would see.

My wife’s meticulously cleaned kitchen was covered in flour, dirty bowls and tiny footprints.  A cracked egg was on the floor. On the center of our table sat a loaf of angel cake with strawberries, next to the cheese wheel that usually sat there. But the mess and the food was not what had me standing in the doorway with my mouth agape. All around the kitchen were tiny human-like creatures, no more than five inches tall. They were all varying shades of green, with tiny pointed ears. All of them stood frozen in place, staring at me. The one with the little lantern stood closest to me, his eyes wide and his hand trembling so hard it shook his curly beard. I felt bad for startling the little people, and searched my mind for something to say that might calm them.

One of the taller women (maybe five and a half inches tall) came to the edge of the table and cleared her throat. I looked at her, still unable to form coherent words.

“Please do not be alarmed, Giant. We will clean up our mess. We always do.” She folded her hands behind her back, awaiting my response. Her demeanor was very regal. I decided at once she must be in charge.

“Always? Do you come here often?” I asked softly, taking care not to startle any of them with my deep voice.

“We use this place for our feast days. It is the only place large enough to fit all of us.”

“How many of you are there?”

“One hundred and seven.”

“Oh. And you all meet here in my kitchen?”

“With all due respect Giant, before it was your kitchen, it was our forest.”

A smile crept over my face. “Oh, well that makes sense. But I’m not a Giant, I’m a human.”

A hint of a smile touched her lips. “You are a giant to me.”

“I suppose that’s true. You know, I have been telling my wife that I hear voices at night for years. She always tells me I am imagining things. She doesn’t think you exist.”

The tiny woman looked confused. “She always eats the cake we leave.”

“Do you mean the cake we eat for breakfast every morning?”

The woman shrugged, “It was part of our bargain with the Giantess when she caught us using up her flour. If we clean up our mess and leave her a cake, then she won’t lock up her stores or sic the dog on us.”

I huffed indignantly. My wife had insisted we start putting the dogs out at night several years ago.

“Well I suppose if the cake is payment, then you won’t mind if I eat it now?”

The graceful woman waved her arm as in invitation for me to sit. It was odd to be invited to sit at my own table. I sat, and watched as one tiny person after another filed into my kitchen. They set up tables and laid out plate after plate of elaborate food for a feast. They laughed and played music. More than a few shied away from my enormous feet, but mostly I went unnoticed. I watched them talk to each other, their tiny voices little more than a whisper, all the while eating the delicious cake that they made for us.

When my plate was empty, I left the little gathering and went back to bed. The tiny people waved and said goodbye before starting to clean up their mess.

This morning I woke up after my wife as usual. I went into the kitchen, desperately hoping there was still evidence of the night before. My wife stood by the table, hand on her hip, staring down at the empty plate I had left behind. All of the tiny tables, food, and messes were gone as promised.

“Good morning, wife. What’s for breakfast?” I could hardly contain my laugh as she frowned down again at the empty plate.

Without saying a word, my wife pulled a skillet out of the cupboard and started frying eggs.

Who is imagining things now?

Short fairy tale pic

Prologue

Hello Reader!

 

I have been working furiously on a poetry project and my novel, and I have neglected my blog a bit. But alas, ’twas a fruitful distraction!

I follow a blogger named Dragonplume, who writes Writers Block. They wrote a blog post that really got me thinking. The post is titled Ch 1 Blunders:Generic settings. Upon reading this article (if you write I strongly recommend you read it as well), I pondered my own novel, and came to the conclusion that I have made the blunder of introducing my genre too late. But how to fix it? It is important to my story that my main character not have any idea magic exists before it explodes into his life. So what do I do about the ch 3 entrance of magic in my story? This introduces my genre to my reader entirely too late, however I don’t want to lose the element of shock to the character I already have.

So I came up with a prologue to my story, which until now it did not have. It sort of explains a bit about magic without introducing it to my leading man too soon. It was well received by my writers group, with several comments of, “this helps me understand the story better”. My one concern is that it throws you too much into a world you don’t understand before there is any character building, or any emotional investment. I am not the best judge, since I know a lot more than I have told the reader even in the later chapters, and I am extremely invested in all of the characters. My writers group is a big help, but they have read the rest of the story so I’m still not sure if this is too confusing of an introduction. I haven’t fully explored how it will weave its way into the rest of my tale, but here it is: The beginning of my novel. Feel free to comment, I would love the feedback.

Prologue

“It doesn’t have any spark. It looks like a sack of meat.” The imp poked the sleeping human child with her pudgy finger.

Her sister rolled her eyes, shoving the baby into a spider silk sack. “Course it don’t spark, it’s human aint it?” When the baby started to fuss, she blew sleepy sand into the bag to knock the baby out. Crying would wake the parents, and that was more aggravation that the scrawny imp felt like dealing with.

“Our babies got life in ’em.” The fat imp patted the bottom of the peacefully sleeping Fay child in her arms. Indeed the baby’s Fay light, the heart of natural magic, glowed faintly.

“Well that’s cuz they Fay babies. Fay babies are better than human ones. That’s how come we got to switch ’em out ‘fore we gives ’em to them trolls. Can’t very well feed our own babies to the trolls now can we?” The skinny imp busied herself with tying a string around the sack.

The fat imp looked around the generic nursery. Its walls were a flat pastel pink. The bassinet where the human baby usually slept was covered in frilly white and pink lace. Other than the glistening portal they opened inside the antique mirror in the corner, everything about the room looked exactly like every other human nursery. She didn’t want to put the Fay child in the ugly bassinet. The lack of plants or animals around to tend to the baby disturbed her. “Why do we leave our babies with the humans to raise all boring like? Don’t make much sense to me.”

“Nobody asked you. And, anyway, rules is rules. It’s just how it’s done is all.” The skinny imp yanked the Fay baby from the fat imp, and lay her in the human’s place. The child’s Fay light dimmed slowly until it was almost gone, but the child had the same magnetic beauty as before.

“Just look at her. She’s beautiful as the day is long. What is she?”

“Leaannan Si.”

The fat fairy barked out a laugh. “Ha! And ha ha! Poor stupid sods. Nobody will ever tell this Fayling no.” She leaned into the cradle, “Will they little lovely? My pretty enchantress, you’ll have everything you want from life. Aint so bad at all, leaving you with the humans then. They got no choice but to love you.”

The skinny imp huffed, shoving her sister out of the way.

“What’s her name? We got’s to tell her her name so she takes the place all propper like. It’s the rules.”

“You and your bloody rules can hang. And anyway it’s on the wall there behind you. Amy, it says.”

“Amy is your name now, little changeling,” the skinny imp said, her face hovering over the baby’s face. “You be a good little human, and break lots of hearts.”

The skinny imp threw the spider silk sack over her shoulder, and unfurled her thin membrane wings. The fat imp looked back at the lovely enchantress-to-be, feeling a pang of guilt at leaving a Fay to grow up in a family empty of magic. The poor little one would go through life being adored, but would have no idea how to wield the power she had over humans. She gave not one thought for the baby in the sack, who’s parent would never even know they had lost a child.  The fat imp had only been doing this job for one day, and already she was questioning the order of things. She also questioned her sisters sanity, having done this job for over a century. She wondered if the Queen knew they were using her kinfolk as changelings.

“Oh, stop thinkin’ on it,” The skinny imp nudged her sister with her elbow. “It’s easier if you don’t think on it. Just follow the rules, and have a nip of Poitin to steady your nerves when you get back to Sidhe.”

The fat imp glanced back one more time, then the pair of them went back through the gate as silently as they came out, sealing it shut behind them.

 

Sneak Peek

I have mentioned my novel several times on my blog so far, but I have not mentioned any details about it beyond the fact that it is in the Urban Fantasy genre. This is partially because I don’t want to give anything away before I have finished writing said novel. It is also because the details in the middle of my novel are not completely ironed out, so any give-aways I did let slip may not end up in the finished book anyway. What I do have, for those of you who are interested, is a poem I have written about one of the characters in my book. One of the exercises I do when I feel stuck is to write poetry about my characters. This piece was born of one such exercise, and I liked it so much it made it’s way into the  novel.

 

The Queen of Black Hearts

Tremble ye before her

Mighty queen of old

Otherland’s a warner

For those who grew too bold

 

Reaper, tot, and troll

Lost amongst her prey

Careful now, she’ll eat your soul

Our mistress of the Fay

 

Come to Crystal Castle tall

A casket for the many

A challenge sent to all

Games not won by any

 

Play at it, you will

At her least desire

Losing to her thrill

Then cast into the mire

 

Fly away you silly twit

Circumvent her wrath

She’ll crush you like a teeny nit

Your blood drawn for her bath

 

Careful now, she’ll eat your soul

Our mistress of the Fay

Head down, know your role

Survive another day

Night Trees

Night Trees

This is one of my drawing that I pulled into Photoshop to make a wallpaper. I get bored of staring at the same pictures all the time, so I make new ones. In this one I imagine two loves who anger a fairy and get turned into thorn trees. Pictures can inspire great storytelling sometimes.