These were a set of watercolors I did for the Further Confusion Art Show, based on concepts that had been rattling around in my brain for some time. First, a pair of fashionable foxy lads in splendid dresses…

“Pearl” 4″x3″ watercolor

“Rosy” 4″x3″ watercolor

And yes, they are boy-foxes. Because I think fun dresses should not be exclusively for ladypeople. Shockingly, neither of these sold, and so they are currently available to anyone who makes me a reasonable offer. Drop me a line if interested.

The same applies to the following pun pieces, which were also done for FC but ended up coming home with me.

“Tiger Lilies” 4″x3″ watercolor

It’s a tiger. Surrounded by lilies. Need I say more?

“Elephant Garlic” 4″x3″ watercolor.

Perhaps my favorite of the set. I’d never painted an elephant before. It is something I must do more of it future.

*

Follow my twitter for more WIPs and announcements, or consider backing me on Patreon for exclusive sketches, short stories, first dibs on originals, and more!

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Last October I hosted a series of livestreams where I inked a set of illustrations on camera. Some of the recordings are even up on YouTube. My subjects were the Environmental Chimeras, which I sometimes spelled Kimaerhas because I was feeling Artistic like that.

Anyway, the results were six brush pen pieces, each one illustrating a different creature. I started with my personal character, Rhondi the Volcano Kimaerha…

A little background.

Kimaerhas are derived from the classical Chimera of Greek Mythology, being a combination of various mammals, avians, and reptiles. They are differentiated from the classic Chimera by having only one head, and as a rule they do not breathe fire.

Kimaerhas vary depending on the environment they live in. Generally, a kimaerha will exhibit traits of the animals native to that environment. They usually have a mixed mammalian “base”, including horns or antlers, with serpentine tails, and occasionally wings and or bird feet.

Kimaerhas are not sexually dimorphic, and may display exclusively male or female characteristics regardless of their gender. (E.g., Rhondi, the Volcano Chimera, has a male lion’s mane and ram’s horns, despite being female.)

Rhondi herself is only the latest form of my Elrond Drakendíl “mountain chimera” which I’ve been playing around with for the last few years. When I moved from the Sierra Nevada to the Cascades, however, I felt a change was in order.

This particular design has been made into a temporary tattoo, which you can purchase via my online shop. The original is not for sale.

I had fun coming up with the names for these guys. I set a few ground rules, and went from there. Kimaerhic names are defined by the presence of “rh” somewhere in them. Names cover a broad variety of phenotypes. Feminine names end in “i”, masculine names end in “a”, names ending in “ia” and “ai” denote a feminine male and masculine female respectively. Names ending in “e” are genderfluid, names ending in “o” are trans-feminine, names ending in “u” are trans-masculine. Names ending in consonants can be any variety of non-binary, intersex, or otherwise nether masculine or feminine.

Therefore, Borhosa is male. He’s the Arctic Kimaerha, displaying dominant traits of polar bear and arctic fox. He also has reindeer antlers. The original sold at World Fantasy last year.Kirhi is the Desert Kimaerha, and one who I conceptualized a couple years ago—along with Borhosa. Kirhi is a combination of caracal, gemsbok, and horned viper. Though her components are native to the deserts of Africa, she is present in hot deserts all over the globe. Spritely and playful, she nevertheless takes her protective duties seriously, and is always near to hand with an encouraging word or quick smile.

Original was sponsored, and therefore given, to a private party.

Parhim is the Pampas Kimaerha, and one of my favorites to design. Parhim is a bit of a goof but is very earnest in the performance of their duties as protector of prairielands the world over. A combination of Maned Wolf, Geoffroy’s cat, pampas deer, and yellow anaconda, their kindness makes their awkwardness charming.

Original sold at the World Fantasy art show.

Ah, Rheef. The Forest Kimaerha. Rheef is a very staid, sober character. They have to be, considering their range of authority covers a vast, vital and vulnerable section of our planet. Their task is to protect and care for the forests of the world. But despite their outwardly calm, serene appearance, Rheef is filled with grief and rage and woe to any disrespectful visitor who harms their forest.

They are a combination of boar, moose, wolverine and copperhead. Not someone you want to cross.

Original sold at the Further Confusion art show.

Tamarhún (tama-roon) is only one of many variants of the chimeras who patrol the world’s jungles and rainforests. Sleek and silent, their poise belies an inner viciousness when dealing with trespassers. A formidable combination of guar, melanistic jaguar, sun bear, and pangolin.

Original sold at the World Fantasy art show last year.

Finally, we have Arhazé, the Alpine Kimaerha. Arhazé (arr-ha-ZAY) is the precocious protector of high mountain meadows, peaks and valleys. They make up for their small size with boundless energy and spirit. Unusual for a chimera, they incorporate avian characteristics—namely that of the Steller’s Jay. They also have elements of hoary marmot and mountain goat.

Arhazé is presently available via Red Bubble on shirts, mugs, and traditional prints, and as a holographic sticker via my online store. It’s also the only remaining kimaerha who’s original is still for sale. It’ll be going to my next art show (probably BLFC or AnthroCon), unless someone makes me an offer I can’t refuse.

All of these were done with a pentel pocket brush pen, my new weapon of choice! Follow my twitter for more WIPs and announcements, or consider backing me on Patreon for exclusive sketches, short stories, first dibs on originals, and more!

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So last year I was in Helsinki for WorldCon and watched The Hugos on twitter in the hotel bar with David Levine and Mari Ness and it was wonderful, but because the stream for the show went down, I did not get to see Ursula’s amazing Whalefall acceptance speech. I’ve since read the dramatized version and it is downright inspiring.

It’s inspired me to write (what I hope will be) an equally entertaining acceptance speech, on the off chance that I ever win such an award. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

In order to give the speech I must win.

In order to win, my work must be nominated

Friends, it is nomination season. The Hugo Awards will open for nominations soon, and the for SFWA members, the Nebulas are already open (but close February 15!) So, without further adieu, here are my works of fiction published in 2017, and the categories into which they fall for the 2018 award season.

(Note: category delineations were taken from the Hugo Awards info page. I could not find the respective information for the Nebulas, but I imagine it’s similar.)

Novel

THE WOLVES OF RIDDLEMOOR
(Perihelion 2017, Heliopause Productions)

THE HAND OF RISHKÉ
(Aphelion 2017, Heliopause Productions)

novella

THE EARTH IT WEEPS
(Perihelion 2017, Heliopause Productions)

THE THOUSAND SONGS
(Perihelion 2017, Heliopause Productions)

DAVEBOT
(Aphelion 2017, Heliopause Productions)

OUT OF SPACE
(Aphelion 2017, Heliopause Productions)

NOVELETTE

ANOMALY 24
(Patreon.com, Self)

Short story

BOX’S DAY
(Patreon.com, Self)

Links will take you to where you can purchase/read the story or the anthology in which it first appeared. You can unlock both “Anomaly” and “Box’s Day” by pledging $5.00, and if you’re quick about cancelling after you’ve read them you can avoid being charged—though of course Patreon frowns at this practice. Obviously, if you can afford it I’d encourage you to wait until your pledge goes through and then cancel, but I’d rather you read the stories than not. If you want to, of course.

Thanks for your support, whatever form and amount that is.

G

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Lady in Black

 

She’s back.

(Dedicated to the California Condor.)

watercolor on 12″x9″ cold press paper, 2017

Original is going to the Further Confusion art show next month, where I’ll also be selling metallic mini-prints. Will be available on my Redbubble after.


Like my work? Wanna support me and get access to lots of goodies like sketches, short stories, and other perks? Have a look at my Patreon! (Starting at $1/month!)

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In the never-ending quest to make a living off my art and stories, I’ve opened up a Patreon and an online store for Heliopause Productions. The store is pretty straightforward: it’s stocked with signed prints and books I bring back from conventions, and while the Squareup UI leaves something to be desired, currently business is light enough that there’s nothing that can’t be cleared up by a little human interaction. Don’t let the shiny logo and use of third-person-singular fool you, it’s just me behind the HpP logo.

The Patreon is, as I state right at the top, not for people who want to buy my work. It’s more of a “DVD extras” area where you can unlock more extras the more you pledge. I did a preview rundown of the rewards here or you can look up the Patreon itself. I tried very hard to offer rewards that would 1) be fun and 2) be things I want to be doing anyway. So I’m very excited to see people signing up already, as it gives me huge motivation to go forward with some projects which have been forced onto the back burner for a while.

I’m in Sacramento this week for Thanksgiving with das Partern and writing this while Boyfriend naps on the couch. He is like a very big, ginger cat in a Notre Dame T-shirt. Only less claws. It is nice.

Hope you all have a wonderful week! I’m leaving the HpP shop open for Black Friday weekend in case anyone wants to do Christmas shopping, and will ship those orders ASAP when I get home (on Monday). Also, if you’re drop-shipping gifts, say so in the note at check-out along with the to/from info, and I’ll gift wrap your purchase, gratis.

Happy Holidays!

-G

 

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After a good deal of mental blundering and some keen encouragement from close family and friends, I’ve undertaken to build a Patreon—one which will hopefully launch within the next month. I have an assortment of tiers and respective rewards, many of which are not available for conventional purchase. As I will say again: my Patreon is not the place to buy my art or stories. If you’re backing my Patreon, it’s because you want me to do more of what I already do. That being said, here’s a rundown of the various tiers and what they get you.

Tier $1/month: Fellow Traveler

Starting at $1 a month you get access to the Grimby’s Gratitude e-newsletter, which will be delivered electronically in the first week of every month via Patreon message and later posted to my page. Print copies will be sent out at the same time to Star Walker and Mother Chaos patrons along with their relevant gifts.

The contents of each issue will vary! There could be recaps of any interesting events from the previous months, essays or cleaned-up twitterstorms, accounts of my around-town adventures—maybe recipes, poems, even pieces of flash fiction. And you might be the first to know about exciting new projects I’m tackling and insights into my writing and drawing process.

Tier $5/month: Supporting Magician


At $5 a month you gain access to the Sparks Gallery and the Short Spells Library. The Gallery will consist of rare glimpses into my personal sketch journal, which is filled with concept designs, notes, character sketches, brush pen practice, and more! Though I’ve tweeted some of its content before, the majority of it has never been posted online—or even properly scanned!

The Short Spells Library consists of similarly rare short stories that are otherwise difficult to find in the wider world—and perhaps some that have never before been published!

Both the Sparks Gallery and the Short Spells Library will be a series of tagged posts available for patrons at the Supporting Magician tier or higher. Patrons will also be notified via email when either is updated.

Tier $10/month: Valdellunian

For $10 a month you gain access to the Valdelluna Archive. Valdelluna is a narrative illustration project that I stumbled into at the end of 2009, and formally began in 2014 when I acquired a Magical Book from a dear friend. The Archive aims to preserve these drawings, many of which have never been posted online before, and offer a comprehensive guide to the fascinating, magical place of Valedelluna. And, in an effort to actually finish the book, I’m going to add a new drawing for every patron who backs at this level—up to one new drawing per week.

The Valdelluna Archive will be available as a series of tagged posts for anyone who backs at the Valdellunian tier or higher. As always, notifications of updates will be sent to qualifying parties out as they occur.

Also at the Valdellunian level you’ll get a copy of every eBook I publish during the month your pledge is current. Now, most months this will be zero books, but some months there might be as many as three, or four! Additionally, new Valdellunians will receive a thank-you eBook after their first pledge goes through. Otherwise eBooks will be delivered as attachments via email as they become available and will not be posted to the Patreon blog.

Tier $100/month: Star Walker

Now, a slight (haha) jump. If you pledge $100 a month not only do you get everything in the first three tiers, but also: a print copy of Grimby’s Gratitude, snail-mailed to you along with two signed bookplates and a signed print.

You also get one print copy of every new book I publish during the month your pledge is current. Again, most months the number of books I publish is zero, but some months there’s as many as three! And new Star Walker patrons will receive one print book of novel-length when their first pledge goes through.

In all cases, books are shipped direct from the printer so they will arrive unsigned, but you will receive extra signed bookplates with your newsletter equal to the number of books you are getting. Print books will be shipped out in the first week of every month.

Tier $500/month: Mother Chaos

At $500 a month, in addition to all other previous rewards, I will also send you an original piece of art. Artwork will be entirely up to me, and will probably be quite small, so you don’t have to worry about running out of space.

Mothers Chaos will also receive a hand-lettered Encouragement Card. These will be 3″x4″ pieces of cardstock with some encouraging words prettily inscribed upon them, handy for sticking in places where you need some cheer. You’ll get a new one each month when your pledge renews.

Originals and Cards will be shipped out with the print newsletter, bookplates and prints at the top of every month, and yes, they will be signed.

Tier $1,000/month: Albatross

Albatrosses, oh boy. So, yes, I have a $1,000 a month tier. I do not expect anyone to back at this level for the material rewards. You just want me to focus on creating more books and art. You also probably have more money than time and/or wall space, so in the interest of not wasting anything, Albatrosses will not receive any of the previously mentioned physical rewards. They’ll still get the eBook emails, the Gallery, the Library, and the Valdelluna Archive, and the e-Newsletter, but that’s it.

What one gets for backing at the Albatross level is this: a single origami classic crane, folded from a page of a proof book. These are the copies I order for myself and which usually contain errors to a greater or lesser extent. They might as well be recycled for all they’re worth once the final is approved, but in their moment they are as valuable as… well, as a thousand bucks a month.

If you’ve met me you know I like folding origami and will literally do it at the drop of a hat. But these particular cranes will only be folded for Albatross-level patrons, and each one will be personalized, signed, and dated.

Cranes will be mailed out to Albatross patrons each month when their pledges go through.

And even if you decide you’re not in a position to safely render support at this time, thank you for reading, and I hope your future journey is pleasantly exciting.

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WFC 2017 report

San Antonio feels in November like Pittsburgh does in July: humid, warm, full of the sound of Diesel engines—thought the grackles are absent from Pgh—and the smell of green water and grease. It is a city full of stairs and hidden passages and the kind of heartfelt southwest aesthetic that Los Angeles tries to imitate, often unsuccessfully.

It’s been a long weekend, literally. It started on Thursday with a cascade of set-up in the art show and the dealer’s room, which was accomplished largely due to the helpfulness of the staff and my Wonderful Mother. By Saturday, Friday morning was a distant memory, and new acquaintances from Thursday night felt like old friends. Though there were those, too. (You know who you are.) It was so very good to see all of you.

World Fantasy continues to be a puzzlingly wonderful convention. Though not as lucrative (for me) as AnthroCon, and not as exhuberant as WorldCon, I found it as full of interesting, intelligent, brave, creative people as ever. Also, the hospitality suite was excellent.

Also excellent was the art show, which was not only well-stocked by top-notch artists, but the hard working staff kept the bidding open through the (wet) art show reception, thus enabling a few crucial last-minute bids which absolutely made the weekend (for this artist at least). My heartfelt thanks to Scott Zubrek and his team, especially Jimmy, Ruth, Gretchen, and Rhonda—the best enabler. Thanks too to Greg and Lisa for steering the dealer’s room one last time.

The greatest difference from my perspective between this and my last World Fantasy (D.C. in 2014) was that this time I was not left floundering when trying to describe what I do, but merely had to gesture at the contents of my table. Which were, admittedly, varied enough that some people were still confused as to whether I was the author or the artist. Which is understandable, since there are few creaturs who are so involved in the process (shall we say) as I am—but I think there are more of us than we think. I have personally met enough writers who draw (and vice versa) that I think I could fill a panel with them. Which John Picacio actually did, to great effect, with Kathleen Jennings, Jeffrey Alan Love and Greg Manchess—none of whom had been on my own personal list. So, that is also a change.

Another change was the prominence of indie and self-published authors, one which I’m happy to be a part of. It was great to meet and talk with Brian Hades and David Stokes, two champions of alternate stories. The importance of diverse and marginalized voices being given amplification ranks very high with me, and it was good to others in the same boat.

Besides being able to sell my work to people I’ve long admired, I’d have to rank the readings of Davids D. Levine and Mitchell as the highlights of the con. Levine read excerpts of Battle of Venus (Arabella 2) and Arabella 3 to great effect, while Mitchell read three shorts which shook me like words hadn’t done since I read The 13 Clocks.

But nothing compared to getting handed a fresh-off-the-table Jeffrey Alan Love original at the mass signing on Friday night. Jeffrey is a stunning artist and I can’t wait to read his writing.

We will be boarding soon, and I doubt I’ll have time to finish this up afterwards (I plan to spend the flight writing micro-stories… or sleeping. Or both.) Quickly, then, a shout out to Adrian, another author I hope to read one day, with whom we discovered we shared a very dear friend. Also, some exciting news for the future: Heliopause Productions will be opening a web store for signed books, prints, and whatever other merch I have in stock. If you missed filling out your Professor Odd collection or missed WFC entirely, watch this space!

Now to trot off to the bathroom before they bundle us onto a metal tube to Phoenix.

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I am writing this in Keflavik airport, and I hate it here. Luckily we will be leaving soon. Let us speak no more about it. Instead, let me tell you about Iceland and the Future.

Iceland was gorgeous. Majestic and stark and frightening and beautiful. I am much obliged to Icebike Adventures who took us on two wonderful trips on Tuesday and Wednesday, especially our guides Rúnar and Lárus. A+ experience. Here is me and Rúnar trackstanding on a sandstone ridge dragon’s spine:

(Photo: Wonderful Mother.)

Seriously, Iceland is not so much a land where dragons live, it is a land that dragons are. Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

And Exhibit C:

On Tuesday evening we rode past some thermal vents (pictured above), and WM exclaimed “This is what inspired myths about dragons, not dinosaur bones!” I don’t think she’s wrong.

This trip also marked another milestone: my first time on horseback since Emmy died. We went riding with Eld Hestar (VOLCANO HORSES) and had a wonderful guide, Anina, who introduced me to Gráman, who taught me how to tölt. It was very fun and very different from any other kind of riding I had ever done and I only cried a little bit. Here we are together:

Looking to the future, next week I return to my backlog of publishing projects that I left behind at the beginning of the month. But I have been inspired and encouraged by the enthusiasm of the readers I met at WorldCon, and look forward to putting together the best books I can as promptly as I can. You can look forward to a new issue of Apsis Fiction, the second volume of Bouragner Felpz, Wheel 1 of Driving Arcana, plus some new Professor Odd singles and… hopefully sooner rather than later… some original novels. Going to be good times.

As far as convention appearances, I’ll be attending Rose City Comic Con in Portland OR September 8-10. This is largely an experiment to see if it would be a good fit to exhibit at, and also an excuse to visit Portland. My final con of the year will be World Fantasy in San Antonio TX, November, where I’ll be under the banner of Heliopause Productions in the Dealer’s Room, with new originals in the art show. They haven’t published their program yet, so I do not know what (if any) panels/readings/etc. I’ll be on. I expect I’ll announce it on Twitter later.

It’s early days yet, but for 2018 Further Confusion is looking like a lock-in, as is World Con 76 (both in San Jose, would ya know!) and of course I’ll be at AnthroCon, as always. Of less certainty, but something I’m hoping for, is Biggest Little Fur Con (Reno NV, in May) and Norwescon (Seattle WA, at the end of March). Of these five, only AnthroCon would necessitate a flight, something I am intensely happy about.

Anyway, here’s a parting shot of Iceland. See you when I get back to my own volcanos.

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I’m writing this in the little dining area across from Upper Crust in Helsinki-Vantaa Int. Airport, with about 30 minutes to boarding, since I just know once we get done with Iceland this incredible weekend will be blown from my mind.

With that in mind: WorldCon75 was absolutely magical, fun, exciting, and overwhelming in the best possible way. The rapid-fire highlight reel:

Getting to take City Bikes to and from the Messukeskus. Our hotel was about 2.5 miles away, but that made for a lovely bicycle ride along Helsinki’s marvelous protected bike lines and numerous cycle pathes. In fact, these pathes were so numerous that the WM and I took a slightly different route each of the four days we did it!

I had forgotten the expansive breakfast buffets of European hotels. That was a nice thing. So many soft boiled eggs!

The con itself was very well attended. So well, in fact, that they ran out of program space on the first day, and had to limit day-pass sales the rest of the weekend. What this translated into for me, however, were some of the best-attended panels I’ve had the pleasure to serve on. I walked into the Diana Wynne Jones panel at noon on Wednesday to find it packed wall to wall. It was a job to keep from blubbering in joy.

The Nordic Steampunk Blacksmiths set up in front of the South Entrance added a special ambiance to the whole venue. It was especially charming catching them putting on their (quite necessary) sun screen on Wednesday morning.

While line-wrangling for George R R Martin’s Thursday signing I fell into a conversation about single malt with a large Finnish man who declared he would “get me drunk” on scotch at some point. I later learned he was the head of security. I feel this more or less typifies my relationship with that department. (Glances sideways at her DI friends.)

It was lovely to connect and re-connect with so many kindred spirits. I know I shall forget some but here are the ones I’ve remembered: Eleanor Joslin, Gili Bar-Hillel and her family (hi, Tali!), Rob Carlos and Lee Moyer and Venetia Charles, thank you for saving the Illustrated Stories panel in the absence of Claire Wendling. It was wonderful to see Mari Ness and to watch the Hugos on twitter in the bar with Scotch and David D Levine, who was so kind as to invite me to the Hugo Loser’s Party, held this year at a bar called Steam Helsinki which felt a bit like the game Eye Spy come to life. There were motorcycles on the ceiling and dozens of hidden crannies. Ironically, I think I saw more of my friends compacted into one place on that night than anywhere else at the con! Not leastly Ursula and Kevin, even if I had to lean over the back of a seat to reach them (as you do).

Thanks, GRRM, for using your powers for good.

I would like to thank Gillian for being the best Gopher Mom I’ve ever had, and every single person who came to the Diana Wynne Jones fan meet. I had fellow fans coming up to me for the rest of the con, and it was marvelous.

Shout out to Ellen (from Germany) and Daniela and everyone who came to the Origami Jam. Also thanks again to Ursula for shouting “I’m your biggest fan!” at my signing. I’m planting that moment in my memory like a landmine for the next time depression invades.

Thanks, Nalo Hopkinson. I will forever be proud and grateful for my freckles.

Kind regards to Tim and Malcom and everyone who skipped the masquerade to come to the Furries panel.

Congratulations to the Dublin Team, good luck to New Zealand (2020) and DC (2021), and very best wishes to San Jose, where you will, barring disaster, find me next year.

To cap off the con the Wonderful Mother and I took a cycling tour of Helsinki’s Solar System Model. I do not have time to recap it here, but you can find the live and after-life twitter string, with pictures, over here.

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The newest member of the Strange Owls [part one, part two] family, this one was inspired by the owl mask made by Jennifer Miller which I purchased last year. I’ve been developing the character as a witchy sort of person, complete with a witchy hat by Chronographia! Watercolor on 8″x10″ paper. Prints available soon!

The original is currently for sale! Please shoot me an email at goldeenogawa@gmail.com if interested, and we can talk pricing and options.

P.S. my real-life Strange Owl character is named Prax. Here she is at AnthroCon this year. Props to Abrahm Lion for the photo!

~G

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