Monday, July 14, 2014

Drawing Is Super Hard

So, we decided to write a graphic novel. Or, well, maybe it's more of a manga, we don't know. It's like a comic book, with several issues, at any rate.

The point is, it's complicated. And especially so, given that we cannot draw. We have been told our stick figures look rudimentary and amateurish.

Serious, honest-to-god, actual sample. Stop laughing; it's not funny.

Luckily, we thrive on challenge.  So what we ended up doing is writing a script, which is totally a thing that one can do.  Check out this guide from Dark Horse Comics.  Three issues are scripted and ready to be drawn - it's about a couple of kids who have to stop visitors from another dimension who are making all of the stars go out. Now we just need to find an artist willing to work for percentages. Which almost none of them are, so...we'll have to get creative and figure something out. Anyone know anyone?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Music To Fly Spaceships By

It may seem a bit ambitious (it does to us, anyway), but we are trying to complete 13 tracks for an album in the month of June.  Luckily, we had several scrap parts left over from an earlier project for us to cannibalize, and now it seems like our work is already about one-third done.

The concept behind this album - Music To Fly Spaceships By - is kind of pretty stupid if you think about it. For some reason, I have no idea where it comes from, one of us always assumed that aliens that visit Earth from across the cosmos or dimensions or time or whatever listen to electronica house music at a loud but not unreasonable volume as they pilot their craft around. Maybe it helps keep them mellow and cuts down on the cabin fever? Of course, we now realize that if they are from an advanced society, they're probably listening to Babymetal. But that would be hard to build a concept album around. The copyright concerns alone seem to make the whole thing untenable.

 We have to go now. Our home planet needs us.

Anyway, here's a song that we are pretty sure we're done tinkering with, so get your club drugs and glow sticks and crank it up, why not?

Reading: The Ticking
Listening: Chokotto Love

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Studio update

It is Spring Cleaning time here at Quill Studios!  Also, we do not feel like cleaning right now, so it is hard to get anything done! 

But once we're done dramatically sweeping the detritus off of our cluttered workspace and onto our cluttered floor, we'll be getting right to work on a new electro-trip-hop album, set to drop at the end of June.  Look for it in July or August, because that's how we feel about deadlines.

What might hopefully become a serial comic is also in the works; hopefully, we'll see some motion on it before autumn.  And that pop-up book from last year is not's just resting.

Well, that's about it as far as the update goes. We should really get back to cleaning now.

But instead we'll just stay up all night listening to Babymetal.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


I'm back. The Fox God has chosen now for my resurrection. Kitsune up, people.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

This is a letter from God to Man. Long time, no see.

What would a suicide letter from God look like?

Would it be a simple, old-school carved tablet placed high on a mountain, thick with emotion and recriminations?  "Look what you made me do!" it might read.  "Don't judge me."

Or perhaps something similar but less recriminating, placed considerately on a far moon, maybe Titan or Europa, or maybe even orbiting a nearby star; a carefully selected remote location that would keep the truth of a Creator's demise from us until we had demonstrated the mental development to be able to handle it?

Maybe it would be a great flood, perhaps some other form of world-, galactic- or universe-wide destruction - a table-flipping, "fuck-this-shit-I'm-outta-here" great disengaging tantrum.

Or maybe God would just go quiet, and things would just go on as ever, and God would just float there. Cold, dark matter.

It's difficult to imagine the last possibility I mention:  perhaps it's a bit anthropomorphic, but there's such an overwhelming instinct tied into intelligence that compels an author to sign his work, to leave some sign he was here.  And God seems like the kind of guy who couldn't pass up saying, "You'll miss me when I'm gone."

Boredom.  Malaise.  The feeling that it's all been done.  Good-bye cruel eternity.  Alas, poor Yahweh, we hardly knew Ye.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Lascaux Flash 2012 - Update

Well, my story did not win.  Not even an honorable mention to speak of.  I attribute this, for the most part, to two circumstances:

1)  Procrastination.  I had three weeks or so notice about this contest, but except for the most cursory of preparations, I put off working on the story until the weekend that it was due.  I also forgot to write down several thoughts I had percolating in my mind about the story, and I'm pretty sure my story suffered for their exclusion.

2)  I bit off a bit more than I could chew.  A situation like this one - only 250 words - more or less requires an eschewing of the normal idea of story; this allows only enough time for a snapshot in time, a glimpse of a few moments, and some of the story must remain untold.  I thought my story did a fairly good job of this, but not nearly good enough.  I think I needed more vivid description and less scaffolding.

I'm also left with a sneaking suspicion that the judges, overburdened as they were, did not pick up on the symbolism of the rainbow/Covenant with God theme I was seeking to examine.  I think I might take the opportunity to re-write this story without the 250 word restriction and see how it goes.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lascaux Flash 2012

This past weekend, the weather was fabulous.  Autumn is my favorite season, and the there was a delicious crisp chill in the air.  So of course I ended up spending all weekend indoors, writing furiously, trying to complete my entries for the Lascaux Flash contest.  Had it been unbearably hot or stormy, my procrastination would have seemed to outside observers like some kind of transcendent Zen taming-of-the-Fates wisdom.  Man, that would have been so sweet!

The real challenge (I think) of writing contests such this one (250 words max.) or the NPR 3 Minute Story that was due the day after the Lascaux entry (and which I will get into in my next post), is getting yourself to edit with coldness, even brutality.  Even five or six words used to help enrich the setting of the story will end up costing you in character or theme development.  I'm sure that without an arbitrary word limit, I could have composed a more full story, but the process that these contests force you through end up, in my opinion anyway, strengthening your writing in the long haul.

And I would be remiss to not recommend that everyone go check out the Lascaux Flash page.  The writing must be good, because several stories have evoked in me emotions  such as jealousy and angry bad unluckiness, and I wondered why couldn't these people have just sat on their hands for once so I could get a chance to win.

Enough blah, blah, blah - here's my entry to the Lascaux Flash contest:

(250 words - count 'em!)

There were no corners in the room. Narrow windows fitted with stained glass were cut into the thick stone walls of the small chapel off the infirmary. A circular, ornate wool rug covered floor, and soaked up the drips as they fell. Driving rain and wind continued, darkness stretched out forever.

Hunched forward on a chair, Brother Cysur's hands cradled the warm throat of a clay goblet. With deep and measured breath, he observed the floor. A rainbow of shards was cast beneath his feet, arching towards the damp, howling window. The rhythmic sound of drips falling, absorbing into the damp rug made Cysur grow drowsy. The fury, he mused, must have been drawn out into the cold dawn.

"Why, Brother?" beseeched the frail Infirmarian as he entered. “We have a Covenant!”

“A Covenant!” scoffed Brother Cysur. “How much merciless suffering must we witness? Attend to? Wait on as hapless servants?” he demanded. “The Covenant has been long broken!”

A thin beam of light crept through the storm clouds, past the jagged teeth of the window, spilling on the blood red carpet, illuminating the room.

“Within days,” Cysur's voice swam in stone-muted echoes, “the ground will be too hard to break.” He rose, taking the Infirmarian's shoulder in his heavy red palm. “Gather the Abbot.”

The Infirmarian acquiesced, pausing at the door.

“You're Hell-bound, you realise,” his voice cracked through tears.

“Enduring this plague, I'll remain unimpressed by any atrocities there.”

Listening to:  Rid of Me - PJ Harvey
Reading: Oil! A Novel by Upton Sinclair