State of the Dread: May 2022

For the final week of April I was on vacation. It was nice to stay up late and sleep in and do more of what I want to. Considering retirement now.

Writing

I wrote 16,000 words in HOWLING WILDERNESS. It’s coming together. It’s a predictable hot mess, but yeah, it’s coming together. Not going to put a deadline on this one. I’m tired of deadlines. I’m tired of not controlling enough in my own life and my own schedule so I’m just going to do as much of it as I can, as quickly as I can, and go from there.

Maybe if I actually sold books once in a while I wouldn’t have to make all my money off of trucking 50+ hours a week. Whatever.

Reading

4 books total, 2 print, 2 audio. I didn’t read as much in April. Spent a lot of time listening to podcasts. I also tried a manga that I’ve heard of and the very first page was the protagonist male plowing some chick who turned out to be a huge demon monster, so yeah, I bailed on that. I’m back into some good stuff this month, including more Tolkien. Why is there so much bad writing out there?

Art

I finished this really cool drawing of me with my Durango as an Autobot. My next project is for a YouTube video.

Audio

Radcracker Podcast posts every week, except for this last week. Didn’t record while I was on vacation. EofL audio podcasts are coming eventually. Don’t know when, don’t care.

Video

Latest video is here, I talk about some Sanderson books. Managed to add 10 more subscribers this month. Thanks you guys.

Fitness

Didn’t exercise and I ate like garbage. I’m going full Nazi on it this month and I’ll report back on Memorial Day. I don’t care, I DO NOT CARE.

Other

GET BACK TO WORK

Howling Wilderness aesthetics

I’ve had an idea for the Radcracker Podcast that I want to discuss, I just haven’t sat down to organize my thoughts on it. Short version is that part of the worldbuilding/prewriting for a story involves an aesthetics check.

What does the world of the story look like? What do people wear? In a visual medium, what would the color pallet be? In an audio medium, what kind of music would fit the scenery? Things like that.

Anyway, as I’ve been working on the visuals for the characters, here’s some cool stuff I’ve developed for the two main characters.

ANDREW HARTFORD REEVES, JUNIOR–aka GRAVEHEART

Graveheart’s jacket will be a little rougher than this, and in cooler colors, but it’s got the general vibe.
He rides a manticore mimic. I’m working on how to make it mechanical.
The mimic isn’t a hoverbike, but this particular design conveys the bulk of his machine. The general larger front half, the sleeker back half–this artist got it right.
And he carries revolvers. A couple of them. The hammers are shaved so they can’t actually hit the back of the bullet in the chamber. Curious…very curious…
While he isn’t bandaged like Joshua Graham, he does cover his entire body at all times, and he is devoutly religious. I had once thought of designing him this way but I didn’t want to draw bandages every time I did a picture of him. This led to the eventual rendering of a man in a mask, coat, and gloves regardless of the time of year.

The other focal character is MARY KATHERINE LITTLETON–aka STORMCUTTER. But I haven’t found all of the pics I want to use for her just yet. I’ll save her for next week.

State of the Dread: March 2022

Writing

Last month I finished the pre-draft work for HOWLING WILDERNESS, a new Engines tale. This month I will get at least 2 of 8 segments drafted. I started the first chapter and I’m dealing more or less with three perspectives (two protags who will team up, and an antagonist who cheats.)

Reading

I read 9 books, including a re-read of Witchy Winter. I added another book to the best-of-year list, too. I’ve got two more big re-reads on deck for March, too.
Also, screw it, Quixote is a slog. I’m putting it on deck for audio. I committed to reading it in print but I just don’t care. Neither do you. Between that, Witchy Kingdom, and The Two Towers, I’ve got some big reads on deck. I will probably punt on Two Towers until I finish Quixote.

Audio

Sheriff Porter went live on Adventure Hour, and I post about 3 times per week on Radcracker. Subscribe, subscribe, subscribe.

anchor.fm/dreadpennies

anchor.fm/radcracker

Video


I did a video on YouTube and I’m going to refine my method on that going forward. I really want to make better-quality stuff and that might include scripted reviews of things, which isn’t bad. It just takes longer. I tried a few short reviews and they didn’t accomplish much.


Art


HAVEN’T DRAWN ANYTHING, HAHAHA. I’m working on a cover for Sheriff Porter.

Fitness


DIDN’T WORK OUT, I’M STILL OVERWORKED. GET A JOB GUYS, I NEED HELP. That said, intermittent fasting has me down about three pounds. Ever downward, lol.

Get back to work. Bye.

GEA Cover Progress

Been chipping at this when time permits, here are the first three phases. What comes next is just gonna take a while because rendering is a slow process.

First I do all the poses and stuff in rough underlines.

Then I finalize and refine that stuff with inks. I changed one pose (top left) and made the two middle figures a little bigger.

And then I get the flat colors in place.

Ten years since this one.

Shoot, I still remember drawing Optimus v Godzilla/Kong/Cthulhu during the Super Bowl in 2011. I finished a modest pencil drawing AND got to watch the Steelers lose, so that was pretty cool.

I’d digitize this and draw it better and then put it on a shirt for money, but I don’t want to get slapped into oblivion by copyright strikes from three different major corporations, so this one will stay in the past.

Future drawings will end up on merch though. Bet.

Introducing the Next Podcast Adventure! #GEA

It’s not much, but the title text is set up, and I like how it came out. Might do some final tweaks before the cover art hits the world. Still drafting the latter half of the chapter list (7 in total) but they’ll hit the airwaves soon.

Make sure you’re subscribed to the DreadPennies Adventure Hour podcast! While I’m in between Adventures, I post updates and reader mail. Drop me a line on Instagram, and be sure to subscribe to the GBR YouTube channel.

Swing until you hit something

Last spring I told my oldest son that if he cleaned up his penmanship, I’d let him write a picture book with me. He came up with the concept and the characters, I helped with the dialog, and now I’m working on the art.

His penmanship is still “elementary school” level so that’s in progress, but as I carve out the designs for his characters I hope it helps him get more excited to work.

Anyway, I’m keeping the details of the story and characters under wraps, here’s what I’ve got so far. The mammoth was pretty easy, but I had to keep scratching at that stupid dragon until I got something that didn’t look like garbage. It was the head. I must have drawn so many styles of head for it until it clicked. Just gotta keep swinging.

Now that that’s done, I can practice different facial expressions. After that, digitizing will be quick and crisp.

That’s all. Get back to work.

Work in Progress: Thomas Nast Parody

A few weeks ago I saw this political cartoon online, shared by one of my LDS friends. It was drawn by well-known artist Thomas Nast in 1870 as political propaganda against Catholics and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It gave me an idea for a new version of the same thing, so I’ve been picking at it in between other gigs. Here are some progress shots for what I’ve got now, I’ll update this post as I finish other phases of it so you can see it come together.

The underlining phase is mostly for blocking, helping me to figure out poses and stuff. I knew I wanted mechs in the shapes of the original reptiles, with flags, standing in front of the Capitol.

Started with hard ink lines on the Turtle Mech, added some broadside guns and forward rockets above the cockpit.

Hard ink on the Gator Mech, with SAM rockets on the back. After drawing the armor scales on the flank I decided it needed more guns, so I’ll add those later.

Also changed the shape of the mouth on the Turtle Mech, I didn’t like the old one.

Flat colors in place, fiddling with color scheme for Turtle mech. Went through a few different getups before settling on blue and gray, with a dark red for the missiles. Gator will be mostly green.

Gator has the flag of Vatican City, Turtle has the flag for the State of Deseret.

Added flat colors to the CathMech.

Final round of colors on the mechs, added doves and seagulls up top, and details on the Capitol.

Might mess around with the birds some other time, but for now it’s done.

State of the Dread: November 2020

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The Podcast

The DreadPennies Adventure Hour is underway! Thank you guys for the response on SLEEPLESS HOLLOW. It was a lot of fun to record. This month the adventure is WITH ANSWERABLE COURAGE. Here are the links to the podcast on the big three platforms. Subscribe and enjoy!

DPAH on Google

DPAH on Spotify

DPAH on Anchor

The Artwork

The #DrawEveryDay campaign continues. I was able to knock out Inktober (because I’ve kind of been doing it all year) and had a lot of fun with it. Check out my Instagram and hit the follow button.

The Writing

The main focus of my writing is to generate content for the DPAH podcast. I have some chapters to edit for WAC, so I’ll take care of those over the next week or so, and then I’m into editing the Adventure for December. I need to roll back the drawing and get back on the writing so that I don’t record more than my buffer has in store.

The Reading

WINTERDANCE by Gary Paulsen, THE THIEF by Megan Whalen Turner, and OVERSTATED by Colin Quinn are on the list of good books I’ve read in October. One is a nonfic about sled dogs, one is a really great fantasy caper, and one is a comedy roast of all 50 states.

Now I’m delving into some classics, like 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA because I haven’t touched that one in years. Jules Verne in one of the earliest voices in sci-fi and worth the attention. As for audiobooks, I’m doing a lot more podcasts right now, so I’m only picking at the odd book here and there.

The Rest

That’s about it, really. Just enjoying the seasons and trying to find ways to spend better time with my kids. You should too. Tune into the podcast, see you out there!