While this is related a bit to this, it is a rather different project together. Drawn heavily by fairy tales, I modeled each character after the tale and then put my own twist on them. For example the main character in Charmingly Cursed, is a princess with a keen interest in the stars and affinity for magic. She spent the last few years locked up in a tower, and her mage mother’s fear of trouble left her protection spells that had turned her hair unusual shade of gold. When she finds the means to escape she tags along with a would be thief who turns out to be a princess seeking to regain her own kingdom. Along the way the pair rescue other princesses from peril, and learn that the enchantments placed on them were done by chance.
This was originally a series that followed a different princess, and explored a vast world with conflicts both on the small and large scale. I tabled it mostly because I realized the characters would be better served in another tale. altogether.
I started The Desert Windup Spider happened back when steampunk was popular. Set in a secondary world where the Black Death decimated the European side of the Eurasian continent so much the conquest and colonization of the world never happened.
The story follows Mijiza, an inventor whose created a dozen inventions to save lives of soldiers and civilians during a civil war, but the last one she is most famous for is the one that had wiped entire villages off the face of the earth. The story is set in the aftermath where the past exploits and new scandals make her life difficult.
I did a lot of interesting research for this story. From inventions circa late 19th century, to the London Blitz, to World Fairs, to East African countries and their respective histories, and to the infamous Beale Ciphers. While I liked the characters ( supporting characters were a code breaking linguistic, a mail courier who did everything not to lose a package, and a doctor who dabble in poisons) , and certain subplots, I didn’t have an arching story to keep it all together. Which explains why I rewrote this story at least 20 times, with the latest cut thrust it into the future with spaceships and blasters, before admitting defeat. I have banished this story, but still mine it for characters, motifs, and the atmosphere of a world recently recovered from war.
Keisha Adams has two great loves, her cello and food. With dreams of opening her own restaurant one day, Keisha’s plans to learn all she can from her aunt who had worked in some of the best kitchens around the country. However when her aunt is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, their lessons become overshadowed with desperation and painful loss that becomes real more and more each day.
Hoping to escape the pressure to live up to her family’s expectations, Keisha lands a lottery spot in a summer music program, where things are no less simpler but if she can handle tedious practice schedules, intense rivalries, and learn just how fast she can run with a cello strapped to her back, she might just be able to figure out how to bring all elements in her life into perfect harmony.
A mock cover for novel starring Maggie Wu, the youngest daughter in a family of superheroes.
Maggie biggest mistake was choosing a college not far from home. Not only is she expected to help out her with family’s event planning company, her attempts to go solo on crime fighting keeps getting crashed by her older siblings who still see her as the kid that doesn’t know to control her own powers. However when given a mission to unmask a vigilante that had been appearing in the city, she finds instead of criminal a friend she didn’t know as well as she thought she did…..
I have a deep love for video games, mostly RPG and related variants. When I was working on a fairy tale story I wanted it to be like a video game. The characters were made a party with specific yet convenient skill sets, there was a main goal that kept being forgotten due to more interesting side quests, boss battles they meet at different stages of the journey, and a sprawling open ended world. I ended up putting this aside, but there are lots of things I liked about the story, including the video game concepts I came up for it.
The gist of the idea was pretty simple, a party of characters that representative Rapunzel, Snow White, Frog Prince, etc go adventures, look for treasure, save the world, and break the curses cast on them. simple stuff, plus I did research into more obscure European fairy tales and looked to included fairy tales and folklore from around the world.
I took a trip to NYC the other day, as a treat for myself in a year of exciting changes. I didn’t have much of a plan — I never do when I go on vacation for some reason. I plan everything else from arrival to hotels, and even where I’ll grab food. But everything else, happens without much planning.
It makes it fun a way. I get to explore parts of city I hadn’t seen before and do things I haven’t planned. While I had a short list of things I wanted to do or see, the Transit Museum only happened because it was nearby.
I’m glad it did., for it one of the highlights of my trip.
One of the stories I’ve been working on takes place in the earliest days of the subway system (1922 to be exact). While I found a bounty of web resources, maps I had to squint to read, and a single book in my local library, it was just enough to cobble together a scene move on. After visiting this museum, I wanted to rewrite it to add in all this i discovered.
Built inside an old subway station (naturally) you get a crash course in the history from the first station to modern subway system. There lots of artifacts from days long past and several earlier turnstiles (btw fare evasion was problem back then too, there was a whole case of slug used to put in machine instead of fare token). There are tons of subway maps, tour guide from the old days, and lots of posters and signs. The best part for me was the actual subway cars housed in the lowest part of the station.
There are several cars dating from 1912 always the up to 1960s, and it was fascinating to walk through them, comparing them to their modern siblings. I could even tell the age of the cars by a glance, as they were reflective of their eras.
It’s a small museum, but if you like history or have interest in transportation I recommend a visit. There’s plenty to see and explore!