Thursday, May 28, 2015

iZombie: Astroburger

I take notes during an episode to help with my recaps, and my very first one for this episode is: "Someone watched too much One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." I'm shocked Nurse Ratched didn't pop up in a giant goofy hat. I was waiting to find out Major got stuck in a tiny room with an exploding roommate. Getting away from parody country and stock photo caricature, Major's waiting to play chess with Scott E, the big fan of zombies from last week (and they never once make a Star Trek joke - wasted potential).

Because Major's job in life is to get himself into mortal danger at every opportunity, he abandons the common room to look for Scott E and finds his corpse in a bathtub. The wrists were slit, but as Ravi points out the water's not bloody enough. Someone did it after he was already dead to make it look like a suicide.

But our poor dead Scott E (not even one red shirt crack? Fine) was on that famous boat party massacre and he got video of zombies not dancing to thriller. Major tells Liv that Scott E sent this zombie video off to a guy he knew in the news and then winds up dead.

Liv's finally realizing that maybe letting Major check himself in wasn't the smartest move after all.  "Turns out it's a great place to get murdered and learn about zombies." Almost like a zombie mafia with ties to the police might be watching mental institutions as well.

Ravi's concerned about Liv noshing on Scott E's brains because he has a date with Peyton. Who? Oh, right. That other woman who's added almost nothing to the plot, character development, or had more than five lines. Weird that I keep forgetting about her.

It's so bad, last week when Liv was in a "I watched Blaine shoot my sort of zombie boyfriend" and she got a text from Peyton I fully forgot who the hell that was and expected it to be part of the brain of the week investigation. I'm taking notes and jotting down names and I forgot about her roommate who must have another three homes for how little she's in the apartment.

Pretty sure we've seen the Lieutenant more times than Peyton. My point is, if she's your "Look, we've got another woman in the cast" checkmate, you're failing miserably at it.

Anyway, to the date that feels less like one and more like Peyton's having some friends over to watch an old Hitchcock movie. Sorry Ravi, it's not a date when she insists her roommate stays. Though, since they never see each other, maybe Peyton needed to remind herself Liv still existed and wanted to streamline the whole thing.

Since it wasn't awkward enough, Major stops by and gets invited on this romantic date. They're set to watch Vertigo which Ravi hasn't seen (or probably most of the viewing audience), when Liv gives that concerned glance towards the man who just got out of a mental institution from 1985 and suggests they try a different movie. Major quips "So I'm guessing no one's gonna let me watch Harvey either. Some real Jimmy Stewart haters here." During college could this group only get TCM? Are they all secret hipsters? What's with the name dropping of sorry, very old movies. I'm older than the actors by a few years (I think I'm in Generation Robot Apocalypse) and I only know of Harvey because I was a weird as hell kid. Sorry writers, your quips are great, but you might want to update them by a few decades.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Nominate Dwarves in Space

Authors are nothing without readers, and we're notorious for begging them to get the word out, share, review, tell me you love me! We're worse than a dog drooling over a slice of cheese.

I just caught a giant wheel. If you read and liked Dwarves in Space, and want others to read it, filling in this quick form to nominate it would help tremendously. I'd get more exposure, more eyeballs, and write more books for you to read.

Title: Dwarves in Space
Author: SE Zbasnik
Genre: Sci-Fi (probably)
What you loved about it: Excessive use of eggs. Or whatever you want to put.

Thanks so much and remember to keep watching the eggs. They know the truth!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Pink is not less than Blue

Supergirl in Pink
The trailer for the coming CBS Supergirl show dropped and the way people reacted you'd think the creators used Flash's superspeed to travel back in time to kick everyone's childhood.

As you can see, after the obligatory "My name is..." opening that every single tv show has to start with now, we find our Supergirl isn't super at all yet. She's doing menial things, menial girly things! AAHHHHH!!!!

The reaction was as surprising as a sunset to the inclusion of clothing, dating, or anything with that tinge of feminine pink:
See! You can't have punching next to girly shit. That's like impossible. Punching is serious business that only men and women who aren't like those other girls can do. But fashion? That's silly stuff those ladies play with until they find a husband. It's not important like building an earthquake machine or unleashing a horde or superpowered men on a city because someone hurt your feelings. That's true man shit there.

Everyone is rushing to call it trite and stereotypical (and tell the same stupid joke about SNL over and over and over again) because all they can see is oh god, girly shit! Girly shit is bad! Only boy shit matters!

And we're here yet again.

Anything within the sphere of feminine is and has always been downgraded and cast aside as if it's little more than a trifle or distraction. The ladies are just doing some housework, they're just raising kids, they're just playing with makeup or clothes, while the men get on with the important business of making another batman movie.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

iZombie: Mr. Berserk

We've got consequences, hopefully the culmination of Major's gaslighting, and what looks like the big baddie for next season all in this episode. Let's get to it!

Liv sits in the interrogation room she's weirdly lorded over in past episodes while Clive usually looks on entertained. She's being drilled for the death of Lowell. Apparently, his neighbors aren't as deaf as Major's and heard the gunshot.

Having, once again, found Liv surrounded by dead people, the police decide that maybe they should try doing that detective stuff they keep seeing on tv. She won't tell the truth about Blaine and claims she was driving to meet him, but twist! Our Lieutenant Suzuki (who finally got a name, round of applause) is framing Lowell's death as a suicide.

I say it's because Blaine's pressuring him still to make all his mistakes vanish. My husband says it's to keep the knowledge of zombies on the downlow. What do you think? I suppose it could be both. Flat bottom tacos for everyone!

After trying to comfort Liv at the police station (which must have reserved parking for those two by now) Ravi's back at home confronting a raving Major. This guy hasn't just dipped a toe into the deep end, he's flung himself fully clothed off the high dive. Despite Major's puppy dog eyes practically crying out for someone, anyone, to tell him the truth, Ravi still won't do it. I never thought it would happen because he "looks like he fell out of a Nicholas Spark movie," but I feel terrible for Major. Would someone just give that Ken Doll a hug and tell him it'll be okay?!

Because she's still on that PTSD brain (which we barely touched on last episode), Liv comes into work to eat. Ravi tries to talk her out of gnoshing on the latest murder victim. "Her cerebral spinal fluid practically came out on the rocks with a lemon twist." But brain of the week we must, so brain of the week we shall. While Liv enjoys some pad brain thai, Ravi pulls out the paperwork on Lowell and makes a damn good point. There's a mass murdering sociopath zombie out there who knows where they both work. He's got the cops in his pocket. It would be best to play along and sign off on Lowell's death being a suicide. Though, since he talks about personally disposing of the body apparently, despite being a trustfund zombie, Lowell had no family.

Liv in her still shocked state refuses to think about any of it and tosses the forms back at Ravi, which makes sense. It seems rather cruel of the police department/city/Earl the form fairy to force someone to sign off on the death of a person they knew. Doesn't the morgue have its own "I won't cut out the liver of a family member" rule doctors have?

Clive swings by after getting some amazing pie from the bakery beside the morgue which prompts Liv to have her first zombie vision where Rebecca, the reporter, is snagged up by some guys in ski-masks (which wouldn't have looked weird in the elevator ride up there) and thrown down stairs. They use her fingerprints to unlock her phone. Biometrics endanger more lives than they save. Wake up iphone sheeple!


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cover Reveal Reveal Reveal Reveal...

I'm really bad at this holding stuff back to build up suspense thing. I get way too excited and want to share everything the second it leaves my "workshop."

So, without further ado, here's a book cover for a manuscript that's still 99.999% in my head:

Here are all the Dwarves in Space covers I've currently got. As you can see, there are quite a few more books coming down the pipeline.

Giant Tentacle Tutorial

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman in possession of pool noodles will be in want of a tentacle.

For those unaware, I'm a bit of a Halloween nut. And by bit I mean when the basement recently flooded I had to move piles of skeletons, coffins, and ghosts to mop up the carpet. I'm also big into making my own stuff rather than buying whatever cheap plastic crap the stores spit out every October.

On top of the graveyard, dragon cave, spider pit, and scarecrow salon I wanted to add something a bit aquatic.

I swiped the idea from a tutorial here. The biggest thing I changed was putting the suckers in the proper formation instead of haphazardly chucking them everywhere. I'll also show how to make the twists and turns of my tentacles.

It takes:
  • Three pool noodles of varying sizes
  • 1/2" & 3/4" pipe insulation foam to chop up into the suckers
  • a wire hanger
  • a crap ton of duct tape (over 60 yards to make two tentacles)
  • grocery bags/filling
  • spray paint


Monday, May 18, 2015

Meet Taliesin

Because artists pass around the same $50 bill between each other, I've been wanting to get commission drawings of all my main Dwarves in Space characters.

Rather than go with one person, I'd like to find someone who's style embodies the feel of one character and let 'em at it. When I saw Abilene's work I thought "Taliesin."

Meet my elven assassin who - despite the job title - is more dork than suave.
“It would be either a very skilled or very unwise man to steal from an assassin.”
And head over to arts n' farts if you're looking for a character drawing of your own.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

iZombie: Patriot Brains

These recaps are a goldmine of spoilers but if you didn't watch this weeks episode, really don't read this until you do. Don't worry. I'll wait. *taps foot*

Done now? Okay, good.

After a "Last time on iZombie" we're back with Liv in the Willy Wonka glass elevator. She tries to hide her face in her hoodie as Blaine gets on. Hoodies are the CW answer to disguises, despite her clearly being stark white and acting weird as hell she's incognito. Try to ignore someone who cinched a hood around their head and is covering their face with their hands. You can't. It screams "Please look at me! I'm about to do something weird!"

Back in the lab, Ravi's taking notes after his zombie rat bite. I was hoping we'd skip over the needless "I can't tell you I may have contacted zombie rabies so I wouldn't worry you" drama, but it was not to be. Rather than come clean with Liv, Ravi bumbles a bit and wipes his research off the table. Liv's in a state from realizing her boyfriend is eating the brains of murdered teenagers. She rants to Ravi about finding Blaine and his "zombie meals on wheels program," giving the guy plenty of opportunities to NOT TELL LIV ABOUT THE ZOMBIE RAT BITE!

You have one trustworthy zombie you know right there, but you won't tell her because...

Major, having gotten himself a gun from the back of an SUV that was also moving counterfeit girlscout cookies, is prepping by watching youtube vids about shooting. Oh Ken Doll, only you would think that watching people to learn how to aim is better than actually going to a firing range. I'd half expect him to trap his thumb in the firing mechanism the first time. Whenever he's on screen I want to pat him on the head and say "Oh you!"

I'm impressed that his face still looks like hamburger. It's rare to see such lasting bruising over three episodes - and probably more since this guy cannot stop getting his ass in trouble. But we'll save that for later.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Other Space – A Sci-Fi Show We’ve All Seen Before

In space, no one can hear you groan.
Paul Feig (of Bridesmaids and the upcoming all lady Ghostbusters movie fame) teamed up with Freaks and Geeks alums Joel Hodgson and Trace Beaulieu to bring us Other Space. It's courtesy of Yahoo's original attempt to try and bring down Amazon. (Netflix laughs at both atop a giant pile of money)

It's about a bunch of loser 20 somethings (unlike the other loser 20 somethings on every other show) who are all given a ship for inexpiable reasons, get blasted into another universe, and have're already not paying attention, are you?

On paper, it sounded like the american version of Red Dwarf. It's got the pedigree going for it and brought in the father of cult classic MST3K as well as the original voice of Crow. But in reality it plays more like the American pilot of Red Dwarf (which you should only watch if you are heavily sedated and/or trapped under a pallet of papadums.)

Before I get into the series review, I have to state a few things up front. I'm a huge MSTie. Like traded tapes, have all the books, introduced my husband to it, moved our honeymoon so we could catch Cinematic Titanic live, make my own iRiffs kinda of MSTie. I never get into the great Joel vs Mike debate and love them both equally.

Joel's voicing of Mayor Dewy on Steven Universe is adorable, and I look forward to hearing it every chance I can. Trace has a book called Silly Rhymes for Belligerent Children that cracks me up. I didn't come in to this wanting them to fail. The trailer for Other Space left me cold and wondering what was supposed to be funny, but even Pixar can have some bad trailers for great movies. Maybe they were saving all the good stuff for later.

The pilot opens with one Stewart Lipiski () bringing hot dogs for his crew. During this mission, they get attacked and our plucky hero pulls of some idiotic move that saves them all. It turns out the dangerous mission no one ever survives from but Stewart did was all a simulation, a plot line ripped straight from a Star Trek movie (both the good and the bad one with Khan).

Back in a Holiday Inn meeting room we're all going to pretend is futuristic, the not-a-federation has decided "Fuck it, we're tired of looking competent." Despite the fact Stewart brought hot dogs to feed either actors or computer simulations during a test, they're going to give him his own ship.

Stewart is the eternally apologetic Gary Stu. Despite his being barely competent enough to handle a toaster, he's repeatedly handed everything he could ever want in life. Their maybe government, maybe corporation outfit gifted him a ship because their ratings were low and they wanted better PR. I'd have suggested filling the ship with adorable Otters to get up recruitment before the crew that's cobbled together to look good on a poster.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

iZombie: Dead Air

iZombie wastes no time in jumping into bed with Liv getting the mother of all foot rubs from Lowell - her YA hero zombie heartthrob. This is just to tie back in with the theme of the episode, so we don't spend much time on the zombies are bonking now thread. We have to check on Major Ken Doll who once again got his ass kicked, this time in jail. Ah TV land where cops also corrupt to white Abercrombie and Fitch models.

After Liv ignored Major's calls, Ravi's on the scene to pick up his weeks old roommate from jail. That is some serious dedication from someone who barely knows him. I know who I'm calling if I ever need to hide any bodies. This also gives Ravi plenty of time to finish the prison copy of Highlights (the magazine that no one prints but appears fully formed inside every dentist/doctor office across the country). Ignoring the implications that jails need to have kid's magazines strewn about, we see Liv's roommate is back from her banishment into the negative zone.

Peyton goes all lawyer-y on the clerk who doesn't give much of a shit and gets the Ken Doll sprung. Ravi gets a chill from watching her work because this is the sex and love episode, and begs Liv to set them up. She blows him off repeatedly, leading to her tapping into out newest brain of the week - courtesy of one Sasha, who's playing the part of the sexed up radio jockey that talks in a catwoman purr and tells people to DTMF.

Because Liv must still have some ESP from the psychic's brains she ate off screen, she tunes into Sasha's show for the first time before the brain eating and can't stop listening to someone called Cheated on in Chattanooga. CoiC keeps threatening to kill her husband's lover and taunts Sasha. As Ravi's about to tell Liv about Major once again getting his ass handed to him they hear the sounds of static and Sasha crying out as she falls dead on air.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What To Do If Your Art Is Stolen

I had so much better stuff to share with you; a new iZombie recap, #SaveRavi and a review of Other Space but alas, we're here again.

Thanks to an e-mail I found out today that my Starry Starry Tardis painting was stolen and sold by someone else.
Sold by this dickbag here
Looks a bit familiar eh?
The real one
Because one place isn't enough, this guy's also set up shop here:
You can find it here until he takes it down and runs
This has happened so damn  often I decided to write a primer for anyone who's facing the stomach churning realization that your stuff's been swiped.

Step One. Screenshots! Screenshots! Screenshots!

Take as many as you can to prove that someone swiped your art BEFORE you confront them because they will try to delete all evidence as fast as possible.

Step Two. Links to your own stuff

I've had people I've confronted come back with the stupidest excuses. One needed me to prove when my painting was created. Thankfully, DeviantArt proved that my painting was a good 3 years older than her candle image (though that's probably where it was ripped from).

Another kept obfuscating by blaming his staff and asking if I could prove it was me. Keep saying the same thing, with links to outside sources hosting and dating your art to prove it is yours. It's a pain in the ass, but liars will cling to anything they have.

Step Three. Tell your friends

Tell your friends, tell your family, especially tell social media. People love a good and crystal clear example of thievery to get self righteous about. This works to your advantage because one e-mail from a pissed off artist is easily ignored, a dozen from fellow outraged friends not so much.

Step Four. Do not get angry

Okay, you can get angry. Throw things, break counters, kick the ocean into the sun. But you can't let it show in the email you send. You have to be as cold as ice. Use short sentences and make sure to drop "copyright" "violation" and "DMCA" in there. The cold logic of a vulcan lawyer will send them scurrying to delete their shit far faster than you threatening to crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.

Step Five. Get the website host involved

If none of that works, and even if it does, hunt through the site hosting them for information on copyright or DMCA. It will be buried and be a giant pain in the ass, but they're more likely to take some kind of action and possibly even ban their IP...maybe. There are a lot of sites that honestly couldn't give a fart in Antarctica about copyright but they have to pretend they do.

Hopefully, with these steps you'll get your stolen shit taken down and can get back to that crushing enemies stage. I, for one, intend to kill many dragons.


Holy hell, yesterday was amazing! Perhaps it's gauche to speak of but I sold 85 copies of Dwarves in Space for 99 cents which ratcheted it up the ranks.

I woke this morning to find it sitting here:
87 in science fiction for books. 64 in Kindle? That's wow, just wow! I have no words. All the words are gone. Bye bye.

Big huge mondo thanks to everyone who put the word out, retweeted, reshared, re-whatevered, told anyone about it. I couldn't have done it without you.

To celebrate I'm getting you all tiny bears!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Book Sale!

And it's a big 'un.

From today until the 8th you can get:

       Dwarves in Space for 99 cents!


       The King's Blood for 99 cents!


       And They Lived for free!

Three books for only $1.98; not a bad deal, eh? You could get some kind of coffee drink with that money.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Cover Reveal - a year late!

Poor King's Blood. Due to the stress and madness heaped on that Lulu contest "win," I fell fully out of love with that book.

If you need a primer on what all happened last year:

1. Won a contest

2. Got the shittiest cover options ever and whipped my own together in limited time.

3. Had to do all the marketing stuff we were promised by myself.

Because of that massive let down, I burned out big time (having to get a rough draft to book state in a fucking month will do that). But now I'm back and trying to drag that book out of its early grave first with a new cover.

Ta da!

Stick around, tomorrow there's gonna be big ol book announcements. Deals. Okay. There will be lots of deals and not just for The King's Blood.

Waggles eyebrows