Friday, December 21, 2007

It's panto time

A modern take on that traditional Christmas fave, Jack and the Beanstalk.

Also, me trying to get better on perspective, architecture and city-scapes in general.

And for those who haven't noticed I changed the look of the blog slightly. I thought the black background was too dark and dingy so hopefully this'll brighten things up a bit.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Winter Tree

a short fairy tale by Charles Goatley

Once in a long forgotten corner of old Europe there was a tiny piece of woodland known as the Forever Forest -- the name sounds even more magnificent in the tongue of the locals who gave it this name, though that language has long since died out. The forest had been around long before humans settled there or anywhere else on Earth and it harboured many secrets to those who cared to look for them.

Every winter the snow would arrive so thick that it was impossible to see more than a few feet ahead, and the trees, like many of the animals there, would sleep. During one bitterly cold snow storm a man was passing through. His life had changed so quickly over the past three days. The first he was a bachelor, the second a husband and the third a widower, and the men who had made him the third were intent on him not even lasting the night. They carried pitchforks and flaming torches, as angry villagers often do, and rushed into the forest screaming out his name to scare him into submission.

The poor man was not as well prepared as they were for the blizzard he faced. Soon their words faded into distant echoes that blended with the howls of the wind through the oak trees and he lost all sensation to the chill. He knew this was to be his last moment and settled down beside a barren young oak, less than a century into his its life, to spend his final hour in peace. He wept for his beloved wife as he thought of her and his tears ran down his face onto the roots of the tree.

Every tree in that forest ignored the man's cries for they were tired and did not care for the troubles of men, for men often troubled trees more. But as the man drifted into his final sleep he thought he saw the tree he lay next to cling onto his body like a mother would hold her baby in the cold. And as his vision faded he believed he saw the tree crying tears for him, though he was sure he was hallucinating by then.

But what the dying man saw was the truth. The tree had been awoken by the warmth of the man's tears falling upon its cold roots and sensing a weary traveller was beside it it did its best to comfort him. Trees are not known for their intelligence or their compassion, but when the tree realised that the creature resting beside it was not long for this world it cried tears of tree sap for the man's passing.

From that point on the tree realised that winter was not a time for it to sleep like all of the other selfish trees, but a time for it to be awake. And so it made a solemn vow to sleep in the summer and wake in the winter, unlike all of the other lazy oak trees, so that any creature that needed warmth or comfort would find it under the tree's branches.


For many years the tree did this, becoming lonelier and lonelier. As all of the other trees were asleep during the winter it never had any friends to talk to, and few creatures wandered about the forest during the winter. And during the spring and autumn the other trees shunned it for being so silly. They believed that the Winter Tree, as they called it, would soon come to its senses and enjoy the warmth of the summer instead of standing alone by itself covered in snow.

The tree was becoming tired of its loneliness and beginning to doubt that it had made a wise decision. And then one day a weary woman, desperate to cross the forest in winter to get to her family and almost about to give up hope, saw the tree through the blizzard just as she was feeling lost and helpless. She was the first person to see the tree and couldn't believe the sight ahead of her. The leaves were a lush green and reached out farther than any other tree in the summer. Under the tree the grass was dry and flowers blossomed. It was like she had discovered a small part of paradise tucked away in that forest.

She sought shelter from the snow under the branches of the Winter Tree until it cleared, she ate from the mushrooms that grew under it and made a promise to return to the tree and tend to it every year, as it had very likely saved her life.

And so she did this, year upon year until her death. But she did not take the secret of the Winter Tree to her grave. She told her daughters and they continued the tradition, as did their daughters' daughters and so on. Very soon everyone who lived around the Forever Forest knew about the Winter Tree and its defiance against the traditions of the other tree folk. The forest was never quiet during the winter after that as people always knew there was somewhere to rest in the winter. This would have been perfect were it not for some unwelcome attention it received.

There were a group of men who travelled the continent, far and wide, searching for things that were different. They found women with crooked noses, animals with extra legs and vegetables that grew too large, and they saw to it that they were all destroyed in a manner befitting things that defied the strict laws of nature. They decreed that anything that was different would be burnt alive and that afterwards they would celebrate by drinking and dancing around the charred remains.

Because news of the tree had spread further than the edges of the forest these men immediately knew that the tree was wrong and must pay the price. They claimed that the tree did not belong in the forest or anywhere on this Earth and they wanted to burn it as they did every other thing they disagreed with. And so over many weeks they rode to the forest and asked the villagers where they may find the tree. They told them to follow the snow till the grass began to show, which they did. When they saw the unusual green leaves surrounded on the tree they knew they had found the Winter Tree and began to light their torches. They threw them upon the tree and waited for it to burn and the tree believed that it would not live much longer in this world as it could not run away and hide. But as suddenly as the fire had begun it was put out by the snow, which continued to fall.

The men tried a different approach. They went back to the villages and asked for saws -- the most powerful saws to cut the toughest of trees. But when the villagers asked what trees the saws were for they replied, 'To Destroy the Winter Tree, of course, for it is an abomination.' The group of men were promptly chased from the village and told never to return.

They encountered this in each of the surrounding villages and knew that they would have to destroy the tree in the summer instead, when the snow couldn't stop the fires.

The winter turned to spring and the rains arrived. Then the spring turned to summer and the forest was warm and dry. And this was when the men returned.

They had not believed it would be difficult to find the Winter Tree but they were proved wrong. The path that they had followed in the winter did not exist any more because there was no snow anymore and the villagers would no longer help them for they knew the men's' intentions. The forest looked different in the summer and every tree looked the same and because of its size they could wander forever before finding the tree they were after. With the wild wolves and bears prowling nearby the men did not want to take their chances.

So, with no other option they lit every tree on the edge of the forest and left for home, content in the knowledge that if they couldn't make that one tree suffer then they would make every tree suffer for its crimes. You can be sure that when they arrived back in their home town they drank and they danced, content in the knowledge that there was one less abomination in the world.

The forest burned wildly that day. It burned all day and all night for seven days in fact. The villagers cursed the men who did this as they could not stop the flames from spreading from leaf to leaf and from branch to branch for the nearby lake did not hold enough water to put the fires out.

When the fires eventually stopped the villagers walked across the wilderness and saw nothing but ashes, and so they cursed the evil men once more. But then they believed a miracle had occurred when they passed by the spot of the Winter Tree. It was still standing and did not even have a single scorch mark upon it.
What they did not know was that the tree had been saved because it had been asleep. Its leaves were barren and the tree was full of water to keep it fed over the summer while it slept, while all the other trees were greedy and drinking the water from the spring so quickly that they burned easily. Because its branches stretched so far all of the other trees had stayed clear of it and so when the fire tried to jump from the burning trees to the Winter Tree it found nothing to burn and left the entire area untouched.


The forest never grew up around that lone oak tree but it never knew any different. The winters were still silent and it was always there for any traveller, man or beast, that sought its shelter.

But unknown to the tree, the villagers had been bitter about the burning of their forest and went to the men who had committed the act for vengeance. Soon man turned upon man and a war began between the two sides. The evil men now realised they had not destroyed the Winter Tree and wanted to settle things once and for all and destroy it for good, and so they gathered an army and rode for the spot where the Winter Tree slept during a quiet summer exactly one year after the burning.

The villagers stood on one side and the soldiers on the other with the tree in the middle. If the tree were awake it would wonder what the fuss was about, because it had only made its choices for the intention of saving lives. It had surely not wanted anyone to die for its sake.

The men battled each other like wild animals on a hunt, out for blood and nothing else. Few people survived that day, but the villagers had succeeded in protecting the tree. When the tree awoke from its long sleep it saw new flowers growing under its wide canopy. There were bright red poppies all around. It had no idea why they had grown there suddenly, but welcomed them and provided them shelter as it did every other visitor to its tiny realm.

As the years turned the past into the present, the fields surrounding the tree changed. The forest looked different with each passing winter, but the poppies always remained and the tree always slept in the summer and woke in the winter. The villages became towns and the towns became cities but no matter how far they stretched they respected the tree and never once harmed it. It still stands to this day.
Anyone who passes by the spot where the battle took place will claim that they fought for one reason or another, but nobody will say it was because of a tree. In fact, I think you will find it difficult to hear mention of the tree at all, for the tree has had children of its own who are awake all year round and is not quite as unusual any more. Whether anyone knows the truth and is hiding it or all memories of it are lost may never be known. Though, everyone around still looks after the tree just as they did many years ago.

Of course, if you asked the tree about its life it would give you an entirely different tale.

The End?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Twofer

I got a bit slack on posting due to playing Assassin's Creed over the weekend and starting to enjoy the game until I got to the meh ending. Meh indeed!

Anyway, two piccies here.

The first is one of the robots from the snowglobe in the previous post. This guy's called Ballistik, and I've revamped him a little since my initial drawing. Above him is an idea I had for the logo. Might simplify it as it doesn't really work well embossed.

Below are some drawings I did of girls all without any reference, trying to put to use all I'm slowly learning about drawing peeps. Excuse the awful quality as I need to get a scanner. And I didn't intend to draw a ballet dancer, it was just my first attempt at drawing a gal kicking, which didn't work so I drew it again, but this time Buffy style!

Oh yeah, and there are some guns too for practice.

Anyway, not an amazing post but balanced out by the fact that I included two piccies for one.

Hopefully something better next time...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Robots

For a while now I've been working on these new characters that are part of a comic book idea of mine.

Anyway, I thought I'd unveil them with a slightly Christmassy image. I probably drew the fireplace a little small, and the rest of the image is a bit bland, but I'm still pleased with it.

Expect more from these guys in the near future...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

An Experimental Picture

So, this was my attempt at doing something more like a painting. If you haven't guessed, and you'll probably be up all night guessing since it's so bad, this is meant to be an almost caricature of
the great master of suspense himself: Alfred Hitchcock.

Anyway, it was just an experiment. Enjoy (or not)!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A big helping of cheese

Yes, it's Xena!

I'd just like to make it clear that I'm not a big fan of the show, other than I watched it on saturday afternoons when nothing else was on and it was far more entertaining than Hercules and his not so legendary journeys. I just wanted to draw an action heroine that hadn't been drawn to death by every other blogger out there.

Anyway, I think that it works well and I'm pretty pleased with the scene's composition and her proportions.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Where does he get his clothes made?

I'm very pleased with this one. All of that lines of action stuff working a treat here, though I think his arm's a little stretchy, almost like I couldn't make my mind up which member of the Fantastic Four I was drawing.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Chocks Away, Chaps!

Ooh, I like this one.

Yeah, I know the plane doesn't look quite right, but the rest of it looks ok.

I've always thought that those pioneering pilots from yesteryear were pretty ace for doing what they did without any safety nets long before jet engines and ejector seats. Awesome!

Anyhoo, next post: some Thing...

Monday, December 3, 2007

Roll up, roll up...

... because the freak circus is in town!

This was a really quick sketch. I was trying to see how fast I could draw something hence the slight sketchiness of it all. But it all came out good in the end, and I think I got a lot of character in the audience too.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Spooky's Big Tree: Part Deux

Ok, this is a bit of a cheat. But I wanted to do an experiment to see if I could do a half decent version of the same picture but at night. One thing I've learnt is that putting glowy lights on things makes all the difference!

I rushed through this picture so it is far from perfect.

Next time I'll do something different...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Spooky's Big Tree

Another quickly inked drawing using the same character from the previous picture cos he's easy to draw and I like the look of him. Maybe he's carrying whatever he caught from the swamp in that bag of his. Actually the demonic fairy type thing in this wasn't as hard as I thought, so I guess I actually am learning stuff. Not sure the warped perspective of the trees works too well but I like the colours.

Anyway, I'm really gonna try and hold onto my new mission statement of doing at least one picture every two days if not every day so I can learn new styles and techniques and generally get better at art.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Spooky Fisherman

Yeah, it's a bit late for Halloween but this image popped into my head last night and I had to draw it today or else suffer the wrath of a thousand harpies for eternity.

It's done on paper to start with again and I'm especially proud of the bubblin' swamp, which didn't look right until I went over the ink lines with a dark green colour.

Why there's a partially invisible cyclops fishing in an ominous swamp in the middle of the night is anyone's guess.

I have a freaky mind apparently!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Unholy trio

This is a bit of a first for me - my first inked sketch drawn on paper. I was just doodling away and came up with some half decent pics of the Preacher so I decided to draw the whole gang and attempt inking it.

I don't think it turned out half bad in the end. I thought I'd post the black and white ink from the scan. The colouring was all on computer - no way am I even attempted hand colouring!

I'm pretty pleased with it all to tell you the truth. And even though I did peek at a few proper pictures of the characters on the interweb for reference, I tried to do it in a simplistic style, which still looks pretty close to the characters in the end (apart from Tulip, who I might have drawn a little bit wrong and where is that hand on Preacher's shoulder coming from?)

Anyway, no more Preacher pics from me. Hopefully, I'll do some of my own stuff again soon instead of ripping off established characters like the Preacher and pals, though that involves a lot more work and a little ole' thing called creativity. I'll also attempt to post (kind of) regularly again!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Starr is born

I've just finished reading all of the Preacher comics and I have to admit that Starr is one of the funniest characters I've read in a long time. So here he is.

Apologies if I got the details wrong but I tried to draw (most of) it from memory for once as well as putting in an attempt at making it all anatomically correct. Ok, not entirely perfect, especially the arms, but getting there... I hope.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

oh dear...

I have been a bit slack in posting stuff. I did a couple of pictures ages ago (honest!) but I didn't like them. and then got distracted finishing a short story. Anyway, here's one of them that's been touched up a little so it doesn't quite look so awful.

I've decided to learn more of the basics of figure drawing in the meantime so fingers crossed that some good stuff may work its way here soon...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Give 'em Hell, boy!

The Hellboy movie was on the telly the other day and it inspired me to draw a picture.



I'm pretty pleased with this one. It's still not perfect, especially since it makes him look like he's been piling on the pounds, but it looks good enough anyway. I think I'm really starting to improve my drawing skills - after all, I would never have been able to achieve something like this a couple of months ago - but I'll leave the rest of you to decide on that.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Explosions are so pretty!

...Well, they are!

I was reading the collection of Akira graphic novels and decided to practice some pyrotechnics similar to the ones in there.

I'm pretty pleased with this. Managed to get lots of detail out of something so simple. And I finally did a good job at drawing someone running.

Anyway, I've ran out of stuff to post so I'm gonna have to drum up something new soon or else I'm in trouble...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Spider Pig, Spider Pig...

Haha... You were expecting a picture of the awesome Spider Pig and instead you get a picture of some lycra-loving man with a fixation on spiders. Oh well, this'll have to do!

I enjoyed doing this one. Did some web-crawling of my own to look at images of Spidey from the films (let's forget the third one). The image was looking awful until I did the lighting and the reflections on the windows. I'm gonna have to try drawing more superheroes in the future because they're so damned fun to draw!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Won't those ninjabots ever stop chasing me?

I'm pretty pleased with this one. Still have a problem drawing people running, but the man vaulting over the wall came out well - researched lots of images of free running and mixed it all together.

Next post: a friendly neighbourhood something-or-other...

Hungry hippos

Be shocked...

Be afraid...

It's the Were Hippo!!!

Ok, I couldn't think of anything to draw at the time and that was the best I could come up with, given that I had a random discussion about Were Hippos earlier in the day. But despite the crapness of it all, I think I did quite well in the shading. It certainly looks like it is 3D, and was good practice for lighting techniques and doing something a bit anthropomorphic for once.

Anyway, after my first foray into full colour wasn't so bad expect a lot more, and indeed a particularly well known comic book character may be popping up on these pages not so far in the future...

Monday, September 17, 2007

noir wolf

And here's the same image done up in full black and white. I had to adjust some things like shadows etc but it was cool working out how to do some of the effects. Anyway, it all came out better than expected so there you go...

No more wolves for a while, methinks!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Two anniversaries in one

So, it's my twentieth blog and also two months since I started this blog page. Wow! Didn't think I'd still be posting stuff here. But I am. You're not getting rid of me this easily!

Well, to celebrate here's a colour version of that wolf that doesn't really look like a wolf now looking even less like a wolf now that it's in colour. But I think it's a half decent effort anyway. So there. I enjoyed doing the snowy ground and that and the tree look better now they're in colour.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Who turned out the lights?

Just a quick test at doing something that looked like it had been done in charcoal. Oh, this is also that Heartbright character again, if I ever do that story I was planning.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

scary wolf that doesn't really look like a wolf

Here's an attempt at a scene using some decent shading for once.
Not bad, though the wolf looks like some weird Tasmanian Devil type thing. I knew getting a wolf growling would be difficult but I'm most pleased with the shading on the man's clothes, which came out pretty decent in the end.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Danger: Wolf Attack

I wanted to do something that was similar to the blog title picture ,but focusing on the wolf alone. So, here it is and this picture didn't take that long at all.

The good news is that I've actually got a backlog of pictures now, so expect more regular updates... for a while at least!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

That's gotta hurt!

Here's a nice piece, with lots going on. And relatively normal for something of mine. Think the lighting came out really well too.

I think that for the next thing I work on I'll revisit the animal that started off this whole shebang - the magnificent wolf.

Nuff said!

Friday, September 7, 2007

They always come in threes

So, here's the last of my Pipe Dream images for now. And if it isn't the evil Prince Gob come to kidnap all of the innocent gnome children and, through years of evil brainwashing, to turn them into his willing servants so that he may wreak havoc upon the world.

I've been searching for the right style for these characters and this is definitely not the style for them. I only picked it as I've started reading the Sin City comics now, so expect more appropriate noir pieces of work in the future. In fact, I think one is in the pipeline as I write this...

As for the Pipe Dream universe... Well, until I've got the right artistic style it's gonna have to wait.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Another Pipe Dream

This was an experiment in watercolours (all digital, of course), as well as a first look at the female of the species in the Pipe Dream universe.

More to come soon...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Something different

No sci-fi or horror this time. These characters just popped into my head and begged me to draw them, so I did.

The characters are from the Pipe Dream universe and are sort of evolved gnomes.

Anyway, that's all you're getting for now. More to come...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Venting Frustration

Better late than never, I say...

Well, here's the latest picture from me. This time an attempt at doing something in colour again, which came out a lot better than my last attempt. I think I succeeded in doing something that looks comic book stylee and tells a story as well.

I'll try not to take so long with the next posting (honest)...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Sheers Of Doom

This all started as an attempt at drawing a woman - not just the face for once - and ended up as something I'm quite proud of. I'm a really big fan of the art of Frank Miller (ever since about three weeks ago) and this is probably my best attempt yet at emulating his style, especially that of Sin City, which I've yet to read, and learning how to draw at the same time.

Anyway, I drew her outline, chose this way of shading it, and then started adding the atmosphere. Don't ask me what the scary mechanical sheers are that she's running away from, but they sure scare me!

Well, it's not perfect but was a lot of fun to do. I ought to try drawing on paper next time, as using a computer to draw is too fiddly.

Friday, August 17, 2007

A new character

Being the creative soul that I am, here's a new character I've started to explore for a little 'project' of mine. I've even given him a proper name: William Heartbright, if I stick to it.

I thought I'd explore what he looks like both young and old, for some bizarre reason which I'll leave hidden for now. I've also been playing around with really heavy shading again, trying to be more confident with it. Think I'm starting to get the hang of it and I hope you'll agree that it looks much better with the black than without (plus I just can't paint shades so this is much easier for me!)

Well, there you go. Won't say who Mr Heartbright is or what he'll end up doing just yet, but I'm sure you'll be seeing more of him soon...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Return Of The Pinhead

I told you he'd be back!

I'd recently read Frank Miller's Ronin and was inspired to do my first action drawing (with some Samurai-esque goings on). Being the ambitious fool that I am I ended up doing a full comic strip for him. And I don't think it turned out that bad in the end...Not bad for a day's work, I think.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Spooky demon guy thing

I've been teaching myself to draw and so this is my first proper attempt at a face - well, two faces in fact - and more playing around with shading.
I think it almost works. Still need work to do with proportions and wasn't really sure what the best way to do the shadows was so it's all over the place but it definitely has that traditional comic book style feel and I'm pleased with how the hair turned out. I've got a long way to go before I'm 'pro' but given that when I drew the knight two weeks ago any attempt at a face would have been flat and lifeless I think I've improved loads.
...And so in light of the fact that my blog has become less about writing and is starting to have a fair bit of art I've given the blog title a slight name change to reflect that.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Last from the Past

And so, here's the last scan from my lazy trio, also taken from one of the animations I did for The Pinhead:
Lots going on in that picture and nobody really has much hair in my Pinhead cartoons, do they? Maybe it's because I was always rubbish at drawing the stuff!
Of course, now that I've run out of old material to recycle I'll have to come up with something new for next time...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Nothing to do with Cenobites...

Here's part 2 of my blast from the past picture posts.
The character is known as the Pinhead and I somehow managed to do 2 whole animations with him as part of a series I was planning but never finished, perhaps due to my lack of artistic know-how. Well, I've always liked the character and the story wasn't half bad either so maybe one day I'll revive him in some form or other, especially since I've been trying to learn how to draw. Watch this space!

Monday, August 6, 2007

old dog old tricks

Because I'm such a slacker, and while I come up with some new material to put on to this blog, I've decided to post some screen shots from a few old Flash animations I did donkey's years ago that I had the good sense to remove from the web. The animations weren't really that good but occasionally I managed to create something that could almost be described as good!

Well, there's 3 on the way and here's numero uno from a dire animation about a superhero I did when I was barely out of my teens...

Saturday, August 4, 2007

There's Something About Knights

No poetry or stories today. Instead I've drawn this little picture.
I dub thee: An attempt to draw something vaguely human and do something with shading.
This actually started out as an attempt to draw the knight from my dragon poem close-up, given that he looked a bit lame in my first attempt, but when I finally drew the outline I decided it would look better with a few dead bodies lying around to make him seem, you know, even tougher!
Anyway, all done on computer because I make no claim to being an artist and don't have anything other than lined paper and an HB pencil at hand. Still, I think it's a pretty decent attempt and it almost looks professional. I don't know what kind of sword he's holding, but it's a bit puny, and his shield looks like it's made from cardboard. I guess even knights can't afford all the best gear! I still wouldn't mess with him, though.
I'll do my best to update this blog a bit more frequently with whatever I can come up with. Promise!..

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Dragon Rises. (This one's a biggy!!)

Ok. I've been practising more with poetry and here's an attempt at integrating a proper story within a poem. It's still pretty feeble by all accounts but about thrice as long (be warned, 90-ish lines) and twice as nice - I hope! Ooh, and watch out for the little not-totally-related-but-kinda-relevant piccy I've drawn.

Five times I heard the noise.It scared to death
My family and me until I had
To go outside. Damp and so cold, the still
Air left a taste of fear upon my tongue.
Alone, I walked towards the place where cries
And screams were coming from. A haunted house
Would be easy compared to this, but still
I walked. Beyond the mire, beside the road
And to the great and mighty mound that where
They say a king or knight lies deep within.
I'm told a tiresome bloody fight did kill
Him long ago that fateful night. And while
I thought about the king I felt the ground
Stir once or twice beneath my feet. The sound
Came soon after the quake - a horrid scream
Again. I shuddered not from cold but fright.
And then the mound exploded like a bomb.
But through the maelstrom something moved -
A light that flashed so bright my eyes went blind.
I heard the mud landing in front of me
And then the screams began again. This time
They were too loud - so deafening - I had
To put my hands over my ears to stop
The noise. My sight returned, the sounds then stopped
And there, before my eyes, was all I feared.
Out of a myth the dragon flew. But really,
Could this deception be the truth? It smelt
And sounded real. Gazing upon the beast
I saw the steel over its skin - the moon
Light was reflecting, dazzling me - more machine
Than creature I suspected. On the beast,
Holding the reins, I saw the man. He wore
A helmet made of steel. I could not see
His eyes, but thought he could not be quite human.
I think I shuddered when the mighty knight
Spoke in a voice so cold and clear. He said,
'A thousand years I've lain within, waiting for
The dragon to awake. And now I'll claim
My prize. It seems that times have changed since last
I gazed upon this land.' He spied a plane
Flying above. 'This kingdom shall be mine.'
'It won't be yours,' I answered back. 'The world
Has changed but we're much stronger now.' He laughed
And then the dragon flew up to the plane
And moments later fireballs rained above.
The dragon landed on the ground ahead
And reared its blood soaked head for me to see.
'I think Old G'ray'th is still in prime condition.
You'll be my servant for my bidding and...
Your family will die at any sign
Of slight betrayal.' I thought about the knight's
Harsh words. I couldn't run - I had no choice.
But an idea entered my head. I said,
'I'll be your slave but for a price. I want
To rule this country too. You give me power,
I'll loyally serve.' The knight then laughed aloud.
'There's strength in you. You'll make a knight one day,
But now you have a price to pay - in blood.
Give me your hand. The dragon's teeth must pierce
It twice. And then you'll swear an oath to serve me.
'The teeth were sharp and ripped my hand, like scorching
Flames had ignited through my skin and bones.
A surge of power had then coursed my veins and
I saw the knight for what he truly was -
This otherworldly thing can't rule the world!
I had to stop him there and then or else.
My hand still bloody, hurting, I then ripped
The tooth from G'ray'th's wide jaw.
It screamed a horrid scream and lurched about
The earth. The knight then jumped off from his perch
And faced me with a deathly stare. 'You'll die!
'He said with bitter scorn. 'You first!' I answered.
I thrust the tooth towards his frame. He shielded
My chance attack and threw his sword at me.
I then replied again, 'Your time has passed.
Leave now or die. A simple choice, I think.'
'Never!' he said - his final words. I thrust
The tooth again and cut him in the chest.
He staggered back and forth in pain and fell
Upon the mound that kept him safe for years -
The dragon too lay on that ground. The mound
Then closed up tight with them inside, perhaps
A thousand years might be enough and then
He'll rise again. I slowly walked back home
That morning - mind was drifting everywhere.
I never spoke about it before this time.
But every now and then I feel this urge
To fly above the city streets and soar
High in the clouds. But worst of all...
I want to rule and bite and burn these things
I live amongst. The urge has never gone.
And so these words are all that I have left.
My mind's conflicted by what's right or wrong.
This dragon's tooth shall finish my life best.

So, that's your two cents. All in all, I'd give it a grand old score of 6/10, let down by a rather weak ending and that rubbish picture of mine (OMG... What was I thinking? I had to use 3 different paint programs to make it!) What do you think?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I decided to have a go at animation and knocked up a simple one for the title picture for the site with a will-o'-the-wisp floating amongst the trees. I was surprised to learn that jack o' lanterns originally, or at least much earlier than their pumpkin origins, meant will-o'-the-wisps. It's amazing how the meanings of things change with different cultures.
Anyway we've been getting lots of sudden heavy storms recently, like something out of a disaster movie. And while watching out of the windows at work I became distracted by the plight of mother duck and her ducklings as they sheltered from the storm and some of the ducklings got stranded for a while, and at one point even faced off against a heron. As a programmer I was interested to observe their behaviour and as a story teller you could take anything that happened yesterday and create a little children's story from it.
Still, I think I'd rather stick with will-o'-the-wisps for now than a day in the life of mother duck.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A blog, a poem and a moonlit howling.

This being my first blog post, I should probably say something about myself and the kind of things I’m going to write…

I’m a video games programmer by day and an aspiring novelist by night. I'd love to see my stuff published one day in one form or another. For now, I’m content to write short stories and explore the medium of the written word. I enjoy science fiction, horror and humour, and those are the kinds of things I aim to write - well, not so much the humour as I’m not really a funny person!

Anyway, on with the blogging. I’ve recently been reading The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry and have found myself enjoying it more than I expected. So here’s a really awful attempt at some non rhyming iambic pentameter that I wrote just now:

While lying in my bed at night, I dreamt
A ghostly face was close. I screamed but did
Not wake. Instead I found a sleeping fear,
And paralysed I waited for the thing
To leave. It watched with curiosity
At me as dream-like sweat fell from my face
Onto the soft pillow that lay below
My sleeping form. An hour in dream time passed.
And then without a hint of what would be
The ghostly face departed from this place.
An instant passed and then I woke to find
A darkened room. I heard another noise
Beyond the door like scratching by a claw.
I tried to bring my frozen self to life
But still unmoving I could not arise.
I saw shadows appear beneath the door.
A trick of light or maybe something more?
The only thing that I could do was wait
And hope I’d locked the door. One, two, three, four,
Five, six… I counted till my mind awoke.
I moved. At last, awake! I jumped onto
My feet, turned on the light and breathed a sigh
Of glad relief. ‘It’s just a dream,’ I said
Aloud. And now for me to go to sleep…

There you go. And as you can see, I’m definitely no poet laureate in the making!

Oh, almost forgot! I've been playing around with the templates and drew the little picture at the top of the blog. What do you think? Well, it's work in progress and I was just playing around with a new paint program to see what I could come up with. I actually think it's quite fitting for the poem that I wrote. Anyway, here's most of the image all by itself in case I ever change my template:

See you soon...