Godzilla’s Back

The greatest blockbuster movies do three things: They go big, they go loud, and they take their subject matter seriously.

This new Godzilla movie looks like it’s going to accomplish all three in monumental fashion. I grew up with cheesy old Godzilla movies, and actually enjoyed the 1998 movie (Jean Reno helped improve the experience a lot). But this time, it looks like Godzilla has grown up, in more ways than one. The radioactive dinosaur is bigger than he’s ever been, and apparently doing battle with two other monsters.

One word: Imax.

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Additional Paintings: Landscapes

Greetings, everyone. I haven’t been doing as much writing as I’d like, but there are more paintings I have done. People have even started giving me paid commissions. Commissions!

Six months ago, if you told me I’d be getting commissions for paintings, I wouldn’t have found it the least bit believable. Life seems rather full of surprises like that. By the way, if you’d like to commission a painting, my email address is to the right.

Here are some of the landscape paintings I’ve done these past few months. All of my paintings so far have been done with acrylics.

"Fourteeners." 8 x 10 inches.

“Fourteeners.” 8 x 10 inches.

"Sturdy." 4 x 6 inches.

“Sturdy.” 4 x 6 inches.

"Colorado Dawn." 2.75 inches square.

“Colorado Dawn.” 2.75 inches square.

Untitled. 2.75 inches square.

Untitled. 2.75 inches square.

A miniature version of "Fourteeners." 4 x 6 inches.

A miniature version of “Fourteeners.” 4 x 6 inches.

"Lakeside." 4 x 5 inches.

“Lakeside.” 4 x 5 inches.

"Rocky Mountain Retreat." 4 x 6 inches.

“Rocky Mountain Retreat.” 4 x 6 inches.

This last one, “Wild Colorado,” is being auctioned off for Crosses for Losses. They are an organization that’s doing incredible work to support Black Forest, Colorado after the fires last June.

"Wild Colorado." 4 x 6 inches.

“Wild Colorado.” 4 x 6 inches.

Thank you very much for your time, everyone. The writing is getting back on track, slowly but surely. Take care!

Flames Over Black Forest

I have been absent for a long while, and that is due in part to a fire that broke out in the Black Forest neighborhood. My home. I still remember standing in my driveway and feeling a flake of ash drift into my eye.

I could see the glow of flames from my house as we were evacuating.

I could see the glow of flames from my house as we were evacuating.

As I am writing this, the fire is 85% contained, but has done plenty of damage. It was human-caused, but we have no word yet as to whether it was accidental or deliberate. Two people were killed. It spread across 14,000 acres. Over 500 homes have burned, more than in any other fire in Colorado’s history.

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Many of the places that have been a regular part of my life have been destroyed, while others still stand (fortunately, R&R Coffee is among those homes away from home that is still there). I myself had to be evacuated, but God be thanked, we are back in our house right now. Many of my friends weren’t so lucky, and they’ve lost their homes.

Kind of surreal seeing it so close to home.

Kind of surreal seeing it so close to home.

Please do keep your prayers with everyone who is still evacuated or has lost their home in the wake of this disaster.

There may have been a tremendous amount of damage wrought by these flames, but we will rebuild. Black Forest, CO is a wonderful community, and its spirit shall never be crushed. May God bless everyone, protect them, and lead them through this rough time.

A great deal of unexpected rain showed up over the next few days, and helped contain the fire. Thank you, God.

A great deal of unexpected rain showed up over the next few days, and helped contain the fire. Thank you, God.

If you want to help out or need some assistance, you can go here to learn more.

Visual Inspiration, Again

I took some more photos that you can use as writing prompts if you like. Just a quick little post today. I need to get back to my novel’s revisions quickly. Soon I’ll have more time for something more substantial.

Hope you enjoy the pictures!

 

The Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs

Well, I don’t think anyone in Colorado Springs thought this would happen. The wildfires from Waldo Canyon are spilling out into the city. They have already burned several homes, and landmarks like the Flying W Ranch. It’s a tragedy, but thank God there has been no loss of life.

These are some of the photographs I managed to take of the fire.

The dragons have certainly come to Colorado. Today is not a day I will ever forget.

I hope your prayers and support will be with the people of Colorado Springs, and indeed anywhere else in the state where there are fires. Pray for the mercy of rain, and for the fires to be extinguished quickly.

[Edit, July 09, 2012: as far as I know, the fire has now been contained, and two bodies were discovered in one of the burned down houses. Despite the tragedy of this event, I am glad it has finally been dealt with]

Worldbuilding — Zoology — Tyrant Dragon

I’ve made the decision to begin a new series on my blog. My fantasy series-in-progress, The Wolfglen Legacy, is going to take place in a detailed world I have been building for the last several years. And I think this would be an excellent place to start introducing my readers to bits and pieces of that world (if you’re interested, of course), even though it’s going to be a while before the books themselves are ready.

What I like about this idea is its versatility. This is a chance to give you anything from cuisine to animals to weapons to a nation’s history, revealing it in detail. Magic systems, politics, natural history, whatever. My plan is to try and give one entry per week.

And with that, I will start with an entry I posted on deviantart.com.

The Tyrant Dragon

The largest known species of dragon that is capable of flight. Like roughly half of all dragons, it is able to breathe fire by using hydrogen gas from its flight lungs.* Easily recognizable by a green body with stripes of black or dark brown, and the presence of four wings rather than two, that extra pair endowed to them by the Founders when this dragon species was created. The wings are colored red with splashes of green on the fringes. Females have a darker red on the membranes, almost like wine or dried blood.

This dragon is rare, but almost universally respected, hated, or feared, depending on whom you ask. Tyrants tend to be much more violent than other dragon species, territorial in the extreme. The mating season occurs in the springtime once every three years. During this period, three or four males congregate in an open space like a prairie or grassland, and collect a small heap of prey animals to display for a local female. The male with the most notable quarry (and the most impressive display of his spread-out wings) wins, and the losers will have to find other females over which to compete. After eating the male’s victims, the female will stay with him for protection and the extra food he can provide. When a month has gone by, the female lays three to five blue eggs in a warm and secluded spot, each one about the size of a human head. The eggs are then abandoned by the parents until they hatch in late summer, and the young creatures will begin hunting mere hours after hatching.

Aside from its great size and extra set of wings, the species is also renowned for what is known as Tyrant’s Madness, a period of heightened aggression when the creature’s wings have been severely injured. Through some unknown mechanism or instinct, the tyrant knows if and when any of its wings have been so extensively injured that they will never heal enough to let the reptile fly again. Once this boundary has been crossed, the animal lands (if it was already airborne) and reaches around with its lengthy neck to bite its own wings off, one at a time. It then becomes a multi-ton berserker, breathing flame and attacking anything within reach until it is almost exhausted. The animal then spends the remainder of its life roaming on the ground, subsisting on whatever it is fast enough to catch.

Few militaries have been sufficiently stupid, crazy, or desperate to use a tyrant dragon in their campaigns (assuming they can capture and tame a juvenile), but the ones who succeed force the enemy’s tactics to change. When flying dragons are part of a battle, usually the opposing force will try to bring the animals down or destroy their wings any way they can: fire bombs, broad-head arrows and crossbow bolts, nets launched from catapults, etc. But thanks to the threat of Tyrant’s Madness, any military force going against this dragon will most likely try instead to kill the animal or exhaust it, rather than risk injury to the wings and having the creature become a far deadlier force on the ground, where more of their own soldiers would be targets for the tyrant’s rage.

* Flight lungs are actually a set of bladders carrying bacteria which produce hydrogen and other lighter-than-air gases to help make the dragon’s body lighter and easier to carry in flight. However, in the fire-breathing species, the gas mixture can be quickly exhausted for producing flame, and the now-heavier animal will find it more difficult, even impossible to fly a distance, until the gas has been replenished.