Accepted by Princeton, rejected by Princeton’s creative writing program: one outsider’s experience

I’d like to send you back in time: it’s 2006, and I’m a naive highschooler in Texarkana. I had just accepted Princeton’s unexpected but very appreciated admission offer and was excited – “just won the lottery” excited – to study creative fiction as an undergraduate student.

During my first semester in the orange bubble*, I sent a fiction sample to the writing program, crossed my fingers, waited … Continue reading

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Learn about my short fiction, comic book writing, and creepy manor at today’s packofaces post

Today in packofaces.com, I talk about my writing and offer you Venus flytrap tea. Have a look, if you dare …

http://www.packofaces.com/2015/06/16/the-ace-of-horror-darcies-writing/

Little Badger’s Shining Ascension Comic Project: THE LOWDOWN POST

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Faatin (left) and Bregga (right), two characters from the Shining Ascension comic book project. Art by http://justjingles.deviantart.com/

As I begin to write Shining Ascension Issue #2 (Hueston and I plan to release #1 and #2 together), it occurs to me that I haven’t made an official “project explanation” post. Today, I will address the following tantalizing questions:

1) What is Shining Ascension? (THE ORIGIN STORY)

2) What is the future of Shining Ascension? When will it be available? How many issues will be released?

3) Who is T. Hueston?

4) Who am I?!?

Okay, here we go, here we go, here we go!

1) THE ORIGIN STORY

About 4.5 years ago, I invented a text-based role-playing game. For those who are unfamiliar with text-based role-playing, I essentially used the power of writing and imagination to build a high fantasy playground for my friend T. Hueston. We went on fabulous adventures together. Make-believe: it’s not just for kids anymore!

One fateful day, Hueston met an artist named The Incredible Nick Robles. They became friends, and Hueston commissioned a scene from our game, below (some parts of the scene have been cut, to prevent spoilers hehe). Wow! That’s a lot of awesome! The full work is even better … if you’re curious, visit Nick’s website and poke around: http://www.nickroblesart.com/ As you can see, Nick has a knack for action, character design, and coloring. He’s truly incredible 🙂

Fight!

Battle at sea! Art by Nick Robles.

Before long, inspired by Nick’s work, Hueston suggested, “Let’s make a comic book based on our game.” As a pessimist, I was reluctant. I did not know how well the game would translate to a comic book medium. Honestly, I’m still nervous about the project. It’s new territory, and I have an anxious streak. But Hueston convinced me that everything would be ok. Plus, Hueston pointed out that the world needs more diverse, kickass comic book characters. Our cast includes many POC and/or LGBTQA heroes, the kind of characters Hueston and I wish were more abundant in mainstream comic books. By the way, the protagonist Faatin comes from a matrilocal society that is partially inspired by precolonial Apache culture. Hey-o! Represent!

So Hueston, Nick, and I began the Shining Ascension project – the rest is history.

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Faatin, Bregga, and Faatin’s pretty buddy: a page from the comic, by Nick Robles.

2) FUTURE OF THE COMIC

The Shining Ascension Issue 2 script is almost finished. Once Nick inks and colors that comic this year, we’ll release issues 1 and 2 together, freely available online. Hueston and I have planned a 6-issue arc. If we scrape together funding to pay Nick, we’ll release Issues 3-6 within a year. If we have no funding, the project will take longer. Either way, we’re completing this baby, believe you me.

3) WHO IS T. HUESTON

In Hueston’s words: “I am a veterinarian and artist with an interest in European warfare, arms and armor.” Check out Hueston’s art here: http://jarahamee.deviantart.com/

4) WHO AM I?!?!

Check out my little biography!

~Fin~

Nkásht íí

My Lipan Apache ghost story appeared in Strange Horizons this week. I’m incredibly honored! If you like fantasy and science fiction, check out Strange Horizons. It’s a weekly zine that’s accessible online and in podcast form. I started reading SH as a teenage Little Badger, and its fiction, reviews, and poetry have expanded my imagination and introduced me to many wonderful writers over the years. Continue reading

Comic Book Update: Colors!

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The exceptional Nick Robles has been coloring Shining Ascension Issue One, and he shared this gorgeous full-page spread with me. Faatin (left, in blue) and Bregga (right) meet for the first time, just hours before a terrible battle! Ah, how dramatic! I love Nick’s work, as always. ❤

The comic book release date is approaching quickly, and I’m on tenterhooks to see the completed first issue. Stay tuned!

Fun fact: Faatin’s yasha (the big animal with a yellow bow) was inspired by prehistoric mammals, most notably Macrauchenia.

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Bregga: Shining Knight, Art by C. Bedford

Bregga Laydon by C. Bedford

Sir Bregga Laydon, masterfully painted by C. Bedford. Bedford’s ethereal art can be viewed here: http://cbedford.deviantart.com/ Check it out! I also encourage you to view the full-size image above by clicking the picture: from the creases on Bregga’s hands to the links in her chainmail, the details in this portrait never fail to delight me.

The gold eye on Bregga’s chest represents the Bright One. Some worship him as a god, while others believe that he’s a powerful alien with mysterious goals. In issue one of the Shining Ascension comic series, he will break centuries of silence with a message for Bregga …

In the lead-up to issue one (available early 2015), I’ll be posting more character art by exceptional artists, so stay tuned!