When I was very little, my grandfather would set me on his knee, open a picture book or magazine and ask me what was happening in the picture. We would sit for hours (or as it seemed to a small child) and make up stories about the political comics or what an eagle was thinking in the wildlife shot. I remember reading Anne of Green Gables years later and finally feeling like someone got my brain. There was a chapter where she said she had invented colorful back stories for all the members of her church. Yes! This was me all the time!
People always ask what I read. I don’t read much any more. People ask what I write. I haven’t written a lot or at least anything you can find. But I have a love affair with stories, sometimes loving the world the story was written and the back story more. I probably was the only person who want to know more about Hobbiton or wished there had been a chapter or two more on Diagon Alley.
There have been more disappointing news with my stories coming to life, I’ve had trouble getting together with my new artist but every time we speak he says he’s still interested in the project but with a surgery coming, everything gets to be pushed back again. Even with all that, don’t give up on me and I will continue to fight to make these stories real!
They say that anything worth having comes with a cost, usually in blood, sweat, and tears. But let’s be honest and add money, time, and heartache to that list.
I want the stories of Seraphim City to come to life, but the obstacles are stacking up. The most recent bump in the road has made me heart sore and I’ve lost my zest and joy for posting about it.
With that in mind, I remembered the smartest thing I ever said; two years ago my gf was upset about the turns life had taken and I said:
“It is not about being “derailed” in your life. Derailed means a train with neat tracks, built years before with clear and easy starting points and destinations. You are a mother, there is no train to drive you through life!
You are riding a Yak, through a tropical rain forest, there are no roads and the Yak disagrees with your life choices. This is your life, embrace the yak! ”
It is still completely true but I still feel defeated. I’m gonna stare at the yak photo for a little while and hopefully it will propel me forward, even if it does disagree with me…
When I finally decided to investigate doing something with my short stories, I had a few requirements for who I wanted to work with.
1) I wanted the artist to be a Pittsburgh local. I figured on a project like this, especially my first, I’d like to work with someone who I could meet for coffee, where we could sit down together easily and really brainstorm together.
2) I wanted to work with a woman. This was not exactly a requirement, but I was hoping. The geek world still seems pretty male dominated and I wanted to bring a female artist with me on this journey so there would be two more female geeks contributing to my favorite genres!
And that was it. Obviously I was hoping for talent, niceness, and flexibility, but having worked with artists before, I knew going in that all these features aren’t always all found in one person. Frequently, artist fall somewhere on the talented/tormented scale, (as the talent rises, so do the chances of narcissism, arrogance, depression, brilliance, and lack of inspiration, in waves, usually all in the same hour).
I was lucky enough to discover Kyla Kemmerer to design our logo and some of the initial story boards. Unfortunately, the demands on her time became to great and she was unable to commit to the project full time. I feel lucky she was able to give some of her time and artwork before the rest of the world discovered her talent!
And from the below logo design, i’m sure you can see as well that she was a good choice.
My name is Jill. I’ve spent most of my life in the Pittsburgh area, though I’ve lived in two other countries. I have a beautiful girlfriend, three step-kids; I’m a full time student (18 credits this semester); I work part time at a home improvement store, and I am a sergeant in the Army National Guard.
I have also had an intimate relationship with fantasy fiction since I was in fourth grade when I read C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. At age 12, I began writing–poems, short stories, and parts of novels, although I never finished anything until my late 20s. In recent years, I began writing a series of short stories inspired by events in my life and how they made me feel. I’m sure you’ve had those days where you are so hurt and angry that there are no easy words or ways to express it. Or just met someone that deserved a beating. But we can’t just beat people up–jail time would interfere with our busy schedules of saving the world and drinking good coffee. So instead I take my revenge in fiction or capture the ugliness of life in a scene.
And this birthed Seraphim City, a place of magic, violence, and most importantly, Angels! The world is styled as a drunk combo of Victorian/early steampunk/slightly medieval elements and is completely enchanting, but more details to follow in future posts.
I had a few people read my stories and they all lovingly nagged me into doing something with them. So what do we do with highly visual and intense short stories? We turn them into graphic novels, of course! But my nine-year-old draws better than me, so that sent me on a quest by the name of Craig and his infamous List, for a local, talented artist to balance my crazy and make my imaginings come to life. My quest led me to Kyla Kemmerer, for logo design and my early story boards. Still searching for the right artist to take on the rest of the project though! Know anyone?
This blog will chronicle my adventures as I go from scratch to…. wherever this project takes me. I shall share tid-bits of the stories and drawings with our readers, and of course share my love with all things fantasy fiction!
I will keep you up to date on what happens, where things go, and the projects.