Alycia Christine

Vivid Fiction, Epic Photography

Category: Art (Page 1 of 3)

A Marathon of Perspectives

Thank you to those who were kind enough to join me for the Skinshifter and Dreamdrifter Reading Marathons! I hope you enjoyed all of the games, quotes, prizes, and, of course, the daily photos. For those wanting more information on each of the 50 daily photos, I have them listed below in the order that they were shown during the marathon:

“Damsel Daintiness”
“Doorway to Wonderland”
“Living Sculpture”
“Thrush”
“Vitality”
“Flora”
“Window’s Many Faces”
“Twilight Mushrooms”
“Fanciful Feathers”
“Cheetah, Inverted”
“Metallic Pinwheels”
“Stone Straws”
“Lemur Looks”
“Peekaboo”
“Pansy Passion”
“The Pollinator”
“A Monarch for Granny”
“A Patch of Sky”
“Crying Monkey in Clock Faces”
“Marfa Yucca”
“Tuscan Sunrise”
“Windmill Promises: Old and New”
“Contrast”
“Afternoon Reflections”
“Dragon Warriors”
“Asteraceae Gilded”
“Agave Spikes in Autumn”
“Along the Tracks”
“Marbled Patterns”
“Winter Flower Silhouettes”
“Arched Elegance for Mom”
“Ask the Owl”
“Mountain Cloaked”
“Blue Jay Among Blossoms”
“Banana Leaf Lines”
“Blue Beneath”
“Weathered Hyperbolas”
“Misty Mountains”
“Split Sea Falls”
“Z Stripes”
“Yellow Gazer”
“The Lord God Loves Them All”
“Twig Window”
“Sun Dabbled Dune”
“Tulips Kindled”
“Texas Star for Bekah”
“Toucan Gaze”
“Moss Stream”
“Oryx”

Until we meet again, may we each rewrite our world for the better!
Alycia

~

This inspirational image is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with enchanting fiction, deep love, and vivid art for all. As always, contact me with any questions or thoughts. Thanks!

FREE STUFF

Books:
Skinshifter | Dreamdrifter | The Dryad’s Sacrifice | Thorn & Thistle| Musings | First Fruits

Artwork:
Drawn Art | BW & Sepia | Animal | Earth | Flowers | Trees | Mountains | Objects | Urban | Water | MORE

AggieCon and The Madness of March

Kiss_of_Red_Frost-4x6ACMarch has been one mad, intense month! Between Granddaddy’s funeral, AggieCon, and various photography shoots, I have driven over 2000 miles across the state of Texas.

Granddaddy’s funeral was sad, but it went well. I was very blessed to see so many members of my extended family throughout the process. I was also fortunate enough to spend time with some of my closest friends during the week following his burial. Because so many of my loved ones are scattered far across the state, it’s difficult for all of us to get together on a regular basis.

Even with the chaos surrounding it, I had a wonderful time at AggieCon. This year marked the first time that I had a booth at the Con to showcase my books and artwork. I met several nice people and held a great giveaway contest for Con goers. Congratulations again to Sarah, the winner of a free copy of Musings and a free art print! Thanks in large part to my Eccentric Authors Guild buddies, I survived Con with minimal complications. My books sparked the interest of not one, but two publishers! I even made up my booth rent costs!

Despite Granddaddy’s death and all of the AggieCon preparation, I managed to turn in the manuscripts for Skinshifter and The Dryad’s Sacrifice to my editor on time. I also began writing Sloop and Sword, which is the sequel to Tempest Maiden series book Thorn and Thistle. I plan to spend all of April writing the rough draft of Sloop and Sword while finishing the rewrites and final formatting of Skinshifter and The Dryad’s Sacrifice. If all goes well, I’ll have both of the Sylvan series books up for pre-order by the beginning of May. Then I can start figuring out how to marketing them.

I have more work to do on Thorn and Thistle before my editor sees it. At this point though, I’m just happy that the book cover art for Skinshifter, The Dryad’s Sacrifice, and Thorn and Thistle are all finished. I can’t wait to reveal them to my newsletter subscribers in April! For now though I must continue building the basic foundation on which all of these grand plans and designs are laid: quality writing.

Until next time, may we each rewrite our world for the better!

Alycia


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with love, art, speculative fiction books, and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!

MUSINGS Book Cover Finally Revealed!

MasterpieceLoading4x5ACThe wait is finally over…for the cover at least. We have a mere 17 days before MUSINGS is released out into the wild world at large. The short story collection is already available for pre-order in select stores and Advanced Reader Copies are being shipped to contest winners as we speak. Consequently I think it’s definitely time to reveal this beautiful book’s cover. Before I do so though, I want to tell all of you a little about the cover’s genesis. Last week I mentioned that the MUSINGS cover has something to do with a poem included in the book. I have included that special poem below. I encourage you to read the poem before clicking on the MUSINGS book cover link at the end so that you have a full appreciation for the words that inspired the book’s name and its compelling cover art.

Musings

Butterflies float over cracked earth
Along a creek that is no more.
Their wings wink into twilight
Beyond the fractured far shore.

A dragon soars above me,
Its scarlet wings burning bright
As the last gold rays of sunlight
Guide it on into the night.

The fireflies greet me then
In the cool of autumn’s day.
They add a touch of fairy light
To the streaming Milky Way.

I sit beneath the thorn tree
And gaze at the purple sky.
There between sand and starlight
All my musings finally fly.

Click HERE to see the MUSINGS book cover.

Want to pre-order the book? Use the links below:
Pre-order through Barnes and Noble
Pre-order through Smashwords

Unfortunately, print and Amazon Kindle editions of MUSINGS cannot be pre-ordered due to some weird distribution rules, but they will be available on the official release date of June 20. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Until next time, may we each rewrite our world for the better!

Alycia


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the writing desk of Alycia Christine at Purple Thorn Press and Photography with love, speculative fiction books, and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!

The 3000 Weeks Anthology Features my Artwork!

SandHull4x6ACSI will not be posting a Flashes of Perspective photography tips blog this month. Ever since I returned from this weekend’s wonderful festivities at ConDFW, I have been absolutely swamped with work. Consequently I am taking a week’s blog break so that I can better care for my clients.

On the bright side of things, I found out last week that some of my art photography is featured in the new 3000 WEEKS anthology! As soon as I find out where you can buy this wonderful collection of stories and artwork featuring over 50 different artists, I will post a notice on my blog and news page.

Thanks so much,
Alycia

P.S.-Thank you so much to authors Kevin J. Anderson, Taylor Anderson, C. Dean Andersson, Patricia Burroughs, J. Kathleen Cheney, Jeff Dawson, Chris Donahue, P.N. Elrod, Rhonda Eudaly, Michael Ashleigh Finn, Christopher Fulbright, David L. Grey, Angeline Hawkes, Katharine Eliska Kimbriel, Thomas K. Knowles, William Ledbetter, Stina Leicht, Julie S. Mandala, Tracy S. Morris, Michelle Muenzler, Teresa Patterson, Patrice Sarath, Sabine Starr, K.M. Tolan, Martha Wells, Mel White, and Barbara Ann Wright for your fun conversations and excellent advice during and in between ConDFW panels! You always leave me inspired to continue my grand adventure as a writer.

SCRAWLS: A Warm and Fuzzy Excerpt from “Winter’s Charge” (Plus a 15% Off Sale)

Mountain_Ice_AC4x6Welcome to December and the snowy cold of winter! Okay, technically my corner of West Texas will likely see temperatures in the 70s today, but that was not the case early last week. We saw freezing temperatures and our first dusting of snow four days before Thanksgiving. Of course the weather cleared just in time for Turkey Day travel, but we expect winter to return this weekend.

In the middle of all of this crazy temperature change, I have been hard at work on a tale crafted especially for those of you who love the snow. The short story is tentatively titled “Winter’s Charge” and its rough draft is about 6000 words long. I have included an excerpt for your reading pleasure today. I hope you like it.

I stayed next to the graves of my clan members long after the fire died, the temperature dropped, and the winds rose again. I was trembling so violently that I was sure I would break my chattering teeth before the end, but if I must die, then at least I would die alongside my kin.

A shuffling sound roused me from my fevered thoughts and I looked up to see a miracle materialize out of the starry darkness. The miracle came in the form of one of the most dangerous creatures an Alawaeun hunter can encounter: a polar bear.

I wish I could tell you that I behaved in a manner befitting my new status as an Alawaeun warrior, but I am ashamed to say that I did not. When I first saw the bear, I screamed like a woman in labor. Death had found me and our first meeting was about to be far more painful than death’s original greeting to my frozen clansmen.

As the bear moved closer, I shut my eyes and waited for the strong swipe of a paw to permanently tear my spirit free of my body. I waited and waited, but death did not come. Finally, I cautiously peeked with one eye at the world around me. My eyes widened when I found the bear simply sitting and watching me. Although I am no judge of emotions in animals, I remember thinking that she seemed quite sad.

“What are you doing here, child?” the polar bear asked.

I mouth fell open in surprise. Surely I was dreaming. Surely the Aurora had given me some last wild vision of peace before death finally claimed me.

She repeated the question plaintively and I quickly sat up from where I had laid against the cold stone wall. “How can you speak? What are you?”

The polar bear slowly shifted her head, studying me with an expression far different from any other predator’s that I had ever seen. “I am your guardian…for now at least,” she said.

“My father once told me the story of how the Father Spirit sent an orca to save a fisherman from drowning,” I replied. “The orca used the fisherman’s net to drag his leaking boat back to shore. I have heard the same sorts of stories about belugas and ravens, but never a polar bear.”

“Never a polar bear…” The sadness seemed to deepen her dark eyes. “My kind and yours are often enemies, but even I will not thwart the will of the Father Spirit when he decides to favor one of man.”

I said nothing.

“Come,” she said as she rolled her massive body pack onto her four large paws, “You need warmth and food and you will find neither here.”

I crossed my arms in stubbornness and stayed firmly seated on the tumbled ice and snow. If it was even possible, she laughed when she saw my resoluteness. “Come, little one,” she said to me. “Death has no purpose for you yet.”

“What is your name?” I asked.

“Ukiuq,” she said the Alawaeun name for winter. “You may call me Ukiuq.”

I rapped my little hand against my fur-clad chest in a traditional tribal salute. “I am honored to know your name,” I said. “I am Ataniq.”

She bowed so deeply toward me that her black nose almost touched the snow beneath her white-furred paws. “I am honored as well. Ataniq…yours is a strong name. Now come before you further drain it of its power.”

As you might have guessed, this is one of the short stories that will be included in the soon-to-be-published Musings short story collection. If you enjoyed the excerpt and wish to know the rest of the story, please look for the full version in the upcoming book!

Finally, I need to mention that I have a 15% OFF SALE going on all of my artwork from now until December 31st! If you are wondering what to get your loved ones for Christmas, look no further than the beautiful, high-quality prints on my photography website! I offer everything from custom greeting cards and phone case covers to framed prints, metal wall art, and stretched canvases. My work is reproduced and shipped through Fine Art America so you can be sure of its quality and its timely delivery.

To redeem your discount, simply type in the promo code YMHLAA in the indicated box when you check out. Your 15% discount will then be applied to all of your products that are sitting in the buyer’s shopping cart at the time of checkout. If buying for Christmas, please remember that December 15 equals the last day for FedEx and UPS Ground Shipments and December 18 equals the last day for FedEx and UPS Overnight Shipments. All profits will go toward the production and marketing of Musings and related projects. Thanks so much!

Until our next meeting, may we each rewrite our world for the better!

🙂 Alycia


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the desk of Alycia C. Cooke and/or Alycia Christine Sears with love, fiction books, and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts about this particular post and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!

SCRAWLS: Story Excerpt from “Chosen Sacrifice”

Chosen_Sacrifice_ACC-1563x2500Good day, everyone! I hope my post finds you all enjoying life! Today I have an excerpt from the short story “Chosen Sacrifice”. This is one of my short stories that I offer through Smashwords, so if you enjoy the excerpt and wish to know how the story ends, please look for the full story on Smashwords or buy it as part of the the Musings story collection!

Also stay tuned for more news updates on my soon-to-be-published Musings anthology. Starting in September I will begin revealing even more great content that you can expect to see in the book. Keep watching the Blog and News pages for more details.

~

“Dragons, lend me your speed,” the emperor’s winged herald whispered as she pumped her mechanical wings hard to avoid a craggy peak. The cold wind clawed at her simple brown robes, but Miya flew on heedless of the discomfort. She raced the waning daylight across the cloud-cloaked mountains and prayed that she would safely cross the Demon Realm’s northern border long before Mother Earth consumed Father Sun.
Fear gripped her as she watched the fiery orb that was the dragons’ home descend toward the horizon. How could she hope to survive if her enemies found her in the open without the aid of Father Sun’s light? The human flapped her wings harder despite her increasing fatigue.
As she flew over a second outcropping, a sudden crimson flash illuminated the clouds around her and searing pain engulfed Miya’s right shoulder. The winged human screamed and plummeted out of the gray sky as witch fire raced along her flesh and robes. High Priest Yoshiro’s stern face flashed before her tear-soaked vision as she fell.
“Father!” the human screamed as moist billows gave way to unyielding stone.
As the mountain rushed toward her, Miya rolled her uninjured shoulder and flipped her wings open in time to avoid crashing headlong into its rocky precipice. Her efforts, however, could not save her from landing in the twisted little pine blocking an otherwise direct glide to the ground. The resulting snap of branches around her small body was sickening.
The dragons’ chosen warrior dropped out of the small tree and groaned. She felt both grateful and furious toward the heavy cloud bank, which had extinguished the devouring flames and yet concealed the perilous mountains just beneath it.
“That was too close a dance with death,” she panted as she sat up from the gray dirt. Her shaking hands rubbed her slightly swollen belly. “Far too close…”

~

I hope you have enjoyed today’s excerpt. If you have any questions or comments about it, please drop me an email or leave your thoughts below in the commentary section. Don’t forget that you can also view and buy the cover art that I designed specifically for this story HERE on my photography website.

Even though I will be on vacation toward the end of this month, I have worked extra hard to insure that you guys get great blog posts every Tuesday as usual. Expect to see some more excellent new writing, photography, and creative advice in the coming weeks. There may also be several changes to streamline the website in August and September. Please give me your suggestions about how I can improve the website and make the experience even better for you! Thanks so much!

Until our next meeting, may we each rewrite our world for the better.

🙂 Alycia


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the desk of Alycia Christine Sears and/or Alycia C. Cooke with love and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts on this particular topic and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!

SCRAWLS: Book Excerpt from First Fruits: 31 Flashes of Biblical Perspective

PastaIlluminationACS4x6Today I wanted to share with you a very personal passage from my book First Fruits: 31 Flashes of Biblical Perspective. I know many people who struggle with some form of disability. I am one of them. For anyone who struggles with some form of mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual handicap, I want you to know that you are not alone. I am right there with you fighting to overcome my weaknesses each and every single day. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fall flat on my back. Always I keep trying because sitting and sulking solves nothing. That is why I wrote the following:

Photograph’s Description

Although this might look like a photo of fiber optic cable or some odd sea anemone, this is actually a portrait of angel hair spaghetti pasta when lit from the side by the evening sun. Shot in Pecos, Texas, in November 2010.

Artist’s Commentary

The emotional analysis of “Pasta Illumination”:

The blackness of the photo’s depths can represent a spot of emptiness in my soul, which can be interpreted two ways. The first is the crushing emptiness I felt before I met Jesus Christ. The second is the black frustration I felt as a child due to dyslexia.

I am a deeply spiritual person who is hopeful yet skeptical by nature. I discovered Jesus when I was very young and accepted that he died on the cross to save me from my own imperfections because I instinctively knew he was the only thing that could fill a void deep in my being. Over twenty years later, I have continued my relationship with him because he is the only god I have ever known to willingly prove his love for me by both an extreme like death and by little things he does every day. He is also the only person I have ever known to never lie to me and always have my best interests well in hand. He has never once given me bad advice.

It took me many years to understand that he would always be with me and yet would still love me enough to let me make my own decisions—good and bad. It also took me years to understand that the dyslexia God “cursed” me with as an infant is the single reason why I am so creative. My brain, as it turns out, was rewired before birth to make sure I would love art to the extreme while being uniquely cross-wired in my thinking so that I could still analyze my work.

The bright spires of light coming out of the total darkness represent hope and joy—the joy from knowing that I am loved just as I am, the hope that my creativity and my life will encourage others as they seek their own purposes in this life. Of course, darkness still lurks in the form of moments of doubt and frustration, but those are mere spots compared to the void I once felt. After all, if I hold onto the light that I have discovered, it drives away the darkness every time.

Suggested Scriptures

John 9


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the desk of Alycia Christine Sears and/or Alycia C. Cooke with love and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts on this particular topic and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, contact me. Thanks!

SCRAWLS: AggieCon 44 – Now With More Science!

Alycia_DeLorean_4x6The weekend of March 23-24 saw my annual excursion to College Station, Texas, for AggieCon 44. For the uninitiated, AggieCon is an annual science fiction and fantasy conference organized and run by Texas A&M University students. It is also purported to be the oldest student-run con in the United States.

The con always has gaming rooms dedicated for use by tabletop and video gamers as well as multiple movie and anime series watching-rooms, a dealer’s room where artists and authors can sell their wares, and many different discussion panels dedicated to gaming, artwork, costume design, anime, author signings, author readings, and fiction writing workshops. My favorites are, of course, any panel dealing with authors, writing, and artwork.

This year’s AggieCon included several author, artist, gaming, and musical guests including: Area of Defect, Keri Bean, Ernest Cline, Erin Ewer, Tom Knowles, David Liss, George R. R. Martin, Dr. Nerdlove, Eva Pohler, Sam De La Rosa, Holden Shearer, Dr. Dante Shepherd, K.M. Tolan, Mel White, Martin Whitmore, and Barbara Ann Wright. While I did not have a chance to go to all of the panels and events that I wanted to attend, I thoroughly enjoyed the panels involving Ernest Cline, Erin Ewer, Tom Knowles, David Liss, Dr. Nerdlove, Kerry Tolan, Mel White, and Barbara Ann Wright.

This year I was also lucky enough to participate as a competitor in the “Iron Artist” art panel along with many other professional and amateur artists. The panel competition itself proved extremely daunting for me because I am a far better writer and a photographer than I am a painter. Even so, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Martin Whitmore and I spent a fair amount of time laughing and heckling each other in between competition rounds. Of course, he claimed the top prize, but my team of “Triple-Threat” stayed in the game until the final round.

As much fun as many of the panels were, my favorite thing about AggieCon has always been the opportunity it affords me to catch up with old friends. I was lucky enough to be able to hang out with several members of Eccentric Authors Guild (EAG) including my dear friends Mary Garner Johansen, Lauren Salinas Wisniewski, and David Gray. Scott Wisniewski and my own husband Matt acted as honored escorts to our nutty group. This year actually marked Matt’s first ever con attendance! To say that I was thrilled by their company is an understatement. It was so nice to have all six of us together during lunch or dinner discussing video games, books, writing, movies, and other geeky things.

Mary even convinced Matt to finally pick up and play Mass Effect 3. He just finished playing through the story last week. Despite the game’s strangely homogenous endings, my husband thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

In addition to having fun with friends, I had the chance to catch up with authors Kerry Tolan and Mel White. I also sold several of my art and photography pieces in the Art Show and purchased a few new books from the Dealer’s Room. I even had the chance to pose with Ernest Cline’s DeLorean (Thank you very much, Ernie!). All in all, AggieCon was a great success.


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the desk of Alycia Christine Sears and/or Alycia C. Cooke with love and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts on this particular topic and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, email it to me. Thanks!

SCRAWLS: Blog Consolidation and Website Insanity!

LadysSlipperOrchidAC4x6Many things are happening at once. AggieCon 44 is in two weeks (March 22-24) and not only I have been invited to share my artwork as part of the event’s art show, but I was also asked to participate in the Iron Artist speaker panel. While readying multiple pieces of artwork for the event, I continue creating content for the Musings anthology, Dreamdrifter novel, and AlyciaChristine.com website. In addition to these tasks, I have been hired as a consultant on the Total Nerd Takeover (TNT) podcasting project and the 2013 West of the Pecos Rodeo show program. I am busy, to say the least. Hopefully by the end of the month, I will have all my ducks in a row and will finally be able to announce an official release date for Musings.

Some of you are probably wondering why I have decided to switch websites from AlyciaChristineS.com to my new site AlyciaChristine.com after working with the former site for only a few months. The answer is threefold: money, site flexibility, and marketability. I discovered very quickly that using WordPress would be far more cost-effective than continuing my old sites AlyciaCCooke.com and AlyciaChristineS.com, which are both powered through Weebly. While Weebly’s website building system is very simple and user-friendly, it lacks some of the customization features that I now prize in a website creator. Also the name of AlyciaChristineS.com itself is harder to market than the slightly simpler AlyciaChristine.com. The scant month that I have been working on this website, I have already seen better search engine results for the new website than for the old website and this encourages me that I made the right decision to move hosts and change domain names.

Since I have moved websites, I have decided to consolidate all of my trickling blogs: “Odds and Ends”, “Flashes of Perspective”, and “Ink Blots and Tea Stains” into one steady information stream, I think it is only fair that I give my entire collection of entries one cohesive name. So here it is: the Seared Cookie Report: one Artist-Writer’s Labored Soliloquy or SCRAWLS for short.

I chose this nomenclature as a play on both of my two pen-names: Alycia Christine Sears and Alycia C. Cooke. I believe the blog name and its acronym fit the duality of my life very well. As a photographer and a doodler, I am an artist. Yet as an author of fiction and nonfiction, I am a writer. Likewise the word “scrawls” acronym could refer to my drawings or my writings.

One of the unique features of AlyciaChristine.com is that I now have the ability to create a wider variety of sub-pages. This exciting fact has led me to create special pages for the books Skinshifter and Dreamdrifter. Not only will these dedicated book pages hold synopsis and story tidbits, but I also hope to link illustrated maps, full casts of characters, and a mini-dictionary of special terms to these pages. My goal with all of this work is to make sure that when the series is published, readers have a great place to go for extra information about the worlds described in these novels.

Over the next few months, I will be adding as many sketches, graphics, photos, and other pieces of art work to the website in as many different areas as I can. I want to make the site as welcoming and vibrant to viewers as possible, so if you have any suggestions please tell me.

In the end, I hope to design a virtual space dedicated to people who love art, seek truth, and are passionate about all things fantastical. I long to use my work to help inspire and encourage each of you throughout all of life’s extremes.

Thank you so much for dropping in and, as always, please visit with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and GoodReads anytime.

Enjoy and welcome to AlyciaChristine.com!


The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist-Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the desk of Alycia Christine Sears and/or Alycia C. Cooke with love and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts on this particular topic and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, email it to me. Thanks!

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