Wait, what?! Guys treated as girls on comic covers…

o-SEXIST-AVENGERS-POSTER-KEVIN-BOLK-570No doubt you’ve already seen the hilarious parody poster of The Avengers by Kevin Bolk.Totally bootylicious.

Side note: Man butts are hilarious.

But I just came across this *giggle* nice cosplay of *snort* the Hawkeye Initiative.

Side note: the Hawkeye Initiative is when comic artists, sick of drawing women in ridiculous poses, drew Hawkeye in them instead. “It’s funny, but it makes you think.” -Sergeant Bilko

Read Mary Sue’s write up of it here.

Other side note: poor Hawkeye. His suits look TERRIBLY uncomfortable to fight in. Or, to lounge around in. Or to do errands in, for that matter. Itchy leather up the butt crack never goes well with a trip to Walmart.

Now, may I introduce to you, Matt as Hawkeye with his ever-professional sometimes-partner, Black Widow.

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I’d say that times are a’changing, and artists and writers are much more aware of drawing slightly real women in slightly less-ridiculous poses (and, there are of course awesome women writers who are on the scene like Cat and Marjorie Liu, telling their artists to ‘zip it up’). There are even some artists and writers who have done away with unreal women altogether, and actually draw them as people! (huzzah!)

But if you’ve been to a comic con lately, you’ll know that it’s the majority of women in comics are dressed in bikini chain mail.

Chainmail-BikiniBIKINI CHAIN MAIL IN THE SNOW!

Side note: do not try that in real life.

Side side note: check out E.A. Aymar’s new multi-media serialized story, When The Deep Purple Falls. It looks exciting! And you know how multi-media tickles my fancy…

Why My Writing Will Always Be Second Best

I bring forth writing to the table. It’s an act of creation…something wasn’t there, and then I ticka-tacka on the keyboard a bit and wall-ah! A novel!

Um…actually, it’s more like I get lost in the foxholes of my mind, chewing mindlessly on the ends of my own hair, don’t eat shower talk or sleep, occasionally laugh maniacally to myself, occasionally sob endlessly curled up in my office chair…surviving for days on jalapeno Cheetos and the food I snatch from my kids as they walk by…

Okay. hehe. It’s not quite that bad.

But still…writing. Not easy. But it’s not all that hard, either. It’s fun. I like it. So I do it.

All that to say…it’ll never be the best thing I’ve done.

No, that happened 5 yrs ago on November 3rd.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABaby Adara

See that kid? She wouldn’t be here if not for me. I had the joy and the agony of bringing her forth into the world.

And guess what? She’s one million times better than anything else I could ever produce.

So I have this sense of done-ness. This sense of completion. I’ve already taken part in the most amazing creation experiences of my life…and now I can just Rock and Roll.

So when I think about my writing, I feel like the pressure’s off. I’ve already done the coolest thing I’ll ever do. So I can just sit back and enjoy myself now.

I used to think it’d be great to be “the best” as something. That I should be “the best” fantasy author, or “the best” basketball player, or “the best” at making Ramen noodles with meatballs and celery. But now, now…I’ve realized that I don’t want to be the best anymore. I’ve stopped striving for it and now I just want to BE.

Be me.

Be free.

That little poem just came outta nowhere. You can have it.

But anyways, I hope all y’all get a sense of release with your art. You don’t have to be the best, you should just tell your story. Although I know the power of a good story, I still know that it can’t change my life like my husband and children do. So that’s why I put them first. And…I was just kidding up there about stealing their food as they walked by. I would never do that.

Unless it was Jalapeno Cheetos.

(and just because I’m a MOM I’m going to post baby pictures of my two other kids, Lilia and Darius).

DH000263Lilia. She’s a rapscallion, as you can plainly see.

IMG_0763Darius. He’s chill.

Did parenthood change your view of life accomplishments?

Do you feel a sense of release over your art?

 

 

Slice of Life Introduction

I have a HUGE announcement to make, which I’ve been waiting for YEARS AND YEARS to tell you. Well, okay, not years and years but at least months and months. Drumroll, please…

Thank you, monkey, for that drumroll.

I have the huge pleasure of announcing a transmedia story called Slice of Life. Once upon a time I wrote a gritty, tongue-in-cheek fairy tale about a girl who must team up with her unfaithful lover in order to stop the Queen from destroying the earth’s life force. It has quirky characters, last-minute escapes from executions, Purgatory, colosseum battles, and many losses of limbs. But best of all, the story isn’t told with just words. A troupe of digital artists has teamed up to create an immersive experience for the viewer.

Noble Beast Transmedia Publishing Company will be publishing the digital story around the middle of February. I’d like to shout a huge THANK YOU to Richard Monson-Haefel for signing with our team. Their first transmedia app will be coming out soon, Steampunk Holmes. If you’re a fan of steampunk or a fan of Sherlock Holmes be sure to check it out, it’s amazing quality and is an inspiration to me.

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Now, without further adieu, I’ll introduce the top-notch troupe of digital artists for Slice of Life:

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 <  Ellie Ann, Writer

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  <Gary Morgan, comic artist

++                                                     Aura, by Gary

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  <Raphael Cutrufello with Hezekiah Jones – composer

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  Lancelot Schaubert – poet >

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  <  Emma Lang – Illustrator (side note: this chick is 13. SO talented.)

Hour 1 until the end

Border, by Emma

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   <  Biaka Zaidarhzauva, Graphic Artist (Side note: please don’t ask me to spell his last name from memory)

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Pirate’s Symbol, by Biaka

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<  Theo Love, Audio Director

 

 

Around May, our story will be ready.

Side note: if anyone is interested in helping promote our story around that date please email me ( ellieannwrites @ gmail.com ) and I’ll not only give you a BIG, CYBER CHOCOLATE BAR but I’ll give you an advanced copy of the story. Let me know.

For starters, you can go ‘like’ our page on Facebook. If you want to stay updated on twitter than follow our personal accounts: @noblebeastbooks @elliesoderstrom @biakaz @joshrandall @lanceschaubert @hezekiah_jones

Stay cool, pirates.

The Next Big Thing

I’ve been nominated as the next big thing by August McLaughlin. I think she probably comes from a small town or something if she’s calling me the next big thing, but I’ll take what I can get…especially from the gorgeous August.

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This is actually more wide spread than just me–and there will be no red carpet or awards ceremony, no matter how much I begged (so that I could finally put my hair in a chignon) (wait, what’s a chignon anyway?)

This is a blog hop put on by the super great Donna Galanti. What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way that readers can discover new authors, because with bookstores closing and publishers not promoting new authors as much, we need to find a way to introduce readers to authors they may not see in their local bookstore. And I guess it doesn’t officially include chignons, whatever those are (I think they’re some type of dog).

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Is this a chignon?

August McLaughlin is coming out with her psychological thriller, IN HER SHADOW. Award-winning author M.G. Miller calls it, “Compulsive.  Terrifying.  Diabolical,” and “an immensely satisfying thriller, infused it with a jolt of pure adrenaline.”

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Click the links below to find out about August’s novel.

Website: http://www.augustmclaughlin.com

Blog: This is her post answering ten questions about her novel.

So go! Go check her out.

And she’s asked me a few questions about my new book, Breaking Steele, out to pre-order on paperback or ready to buy TODAY for your Kindle.

Breaking Steele

1: What is the title of your book?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. 

Oh wait…erm, oops….I mean, Breaking Steele.

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

From Aaron Patterson. He’s brilliant with plot.

3: What genre does your book come under?

Thriller.

Just like Little Women.

Oh, wait…maybe I’m getting genres confused?

It’s a thriller.

Like Jaws. Except instead of an evil shark there’s an evil man. But they both like blood.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I’d choose August McLaughlin for Sarah Steele. I think she looks just like her. And I choose Jorge Garcia as her intern. And Amy Adams for her best friend, Mandy. And Liev Schreiber as her firearms and love interest–Solomon. And to make it interesting, I’d choose Stanley Tucci to play the villain, Hank Williams.

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Diabolical Serial Killer Type?

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When her trial goes wrong and a killer goes free, successful ADA Sarah Steele must do everything she can to protect herself and those she loves before he breaks apart her life.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

It’s published by the awesome Stonehouse Ink. I’ve loved working with them!

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Around 21 days.

8: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Aaron’s awesome vision for this story is what inspired me to write it with him, and to do the absolute best I could.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s like Dexter–except without the sex and swearing and instead of a hot guy in the police department you get a hot lady in the DA office.

Also, I feel it my duty to recommend these absolutely amazing authors. They’re the next big thing. Below you’ll find links to their websites and a book they’ve recently come out with. Click away my friends, click away.

1. Larry Enright

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2. Erin Keyser Horn

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3. Jen Kirchner

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4. Leanne Shirtliffe

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5. Albert Berg

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Have you read any good books lately that you think are the next big thing? Share them here!

Why You Don’t Want A Missionary For A Sister

My sister just came back on furlough from her home in Nimule, South Sudan. Her and her husband and kids are missionaries and helpers to the people there. It’s been amazing having them here, face-to-face. You can’t blow a raspberry on your niece’s belly on a Skype call, you know?

But there’s one thing…

Laundry.

One of my least favorite activities. And we’ve just moved into a house where the washer and dryer are in the basement, in the absolute farthest corner away from our bedrooms. And the basement is dim and dank and smells like butterfly farts and I swear there are a few gnomes that live down there. Which wouldn’t be bad if they’d help me with laundry–but they don’t.

And then there are the stairs leading to our bedrooms. The stairs are at least a mile long, as steep as Mount Fuji, and they’re fraught with dangerous toys and littered with the bones of people who stepped on LEGOS in the middle of the night.

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Turn back ye faint of heart–The Stairs of Infinity!

And then there’s the changing of the loads, and the folding, and the putting away. All that WORK.

So when I’m being a good sister and complaining (or bragging) to my sister about the laundry I did that day, she’ll be like, “oh man, yeah … in Uganda we have to do it by hand.”

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And I’m stopped right there. I could be like … “yeah but do you have to CLIMB STAIRS to do it by hand?” but that just sounds lame. So I’m silenced.

And then the next time when I’m climbing the stairs of infinity and folding clothes FOREVER I’m suddenly overcome with a feeling of thankfulness … that at least I don’t have to wash them by hand and hang them out to dry. Because for some reason, I think that would be even harder, even if there are no basement gnomes involved.

One Second About Relative Thrills…

So, I’m a thriller writer.

And the thriller genre is so funny because how do you know what will thrill someone, you know?

For some, it would be locking eyes with Channing Tatum.

For others, it would be locking eyes with Santa Claus.

For some, it’s finding a spider on your back.

For others, it’s finding your ex at your back.

For some, the ultimate thrill would be parachuting off a great height. But that would do nothing for someone else. They would be thrilled if they were on Mars and heard a strange bee-boop noise.

You know who would be hard to thrill?

Armstrong.

 

I freaked out when I watched I Am Legend. Like … hyperventilating and scrunched eyes and panting, the whole bit. But it didn’t even SCARE my brother, which I find hard to believe but it might be true. So weird. People are different I guess.

How I Relate To Kristen Stewart

Due to my extensive research (aka, reading the tabloid magazine covers in grocery stores) I have found out that Kristen Stewart has cheated on Robert Pattison.

Were they ever dating? I thought were only in true love in their Twilight movies, but I guess I was wrong or something. Turns out they really were a couple in real life.

But then, just as fast as you can say spider monkey, their relationship is over.

Due to more extensive research (aka, reading this huffington post that I completely disagreed with in every way, mostly due to its pretentiousness), I found out she had an affair with a married man.

So, what? I say.

Her bidness is her bidness. I have enough friends with relationships-on-the-rocks in my life, I don’t want to borrow any from the celebrities. And besides, what she did is personal. As my 3 yr-old daughter said when she saw one of the pictures of Kristen Stewart that looked like she just slept with the raccoons, “Mama, did she just go to jail?” NO. No, she did not. What she did was personal, not public. If a celeb drives while intoxicated, DUDE, that’s public! You could kill a kid doin’ that! If a celeb takes drugs. Dude, that stuff is a destroyer and the negative publicity is due to you. But having consensual sex with another . . . I don’t wanna hear about it.

So why is the media crucifying her upside down, like the Romans did to Apostle Paul? Because just like the Roman Tribune thought that Paul was a liar and troublemaker, the media does NOT like Kristen Stewart. And it seems all the mags and celebrities and fans are totally torn up about it.

But you know what it all comes down to?

Really, it all comes down to one thing.

Can you guess what it is?

Nooooo, it’s not that she’s a trampire.

Nooooo, it has nothing to do with Pattison’s boyfriending skills.

Nooooo, it doesn’t have to do with the fact that the man she had an affair with was her director, in a position of authority over her.

Nooooo, it doesn’t have to do with the fact that she never smiles.

Oh, wait.

Yeah . . . it was that.

It’s all because she doesn’t smile. She looks like she walks down the red carpet with a stink bug in her mouth.

 

Oh wait! There’s a smile!

Granted, she’s in front of the camera all the freakin’ time. And it looks like she resents it. Just a tad. Which is fine, but since she didn’t do the media any favors, they aren’t gonna give her any favors, either.

Snow White and the Huntsman supposedly dropped her for the sequel. It’s now called The Huntsman. I don’t think they did this because of the affair, I think they’re using the affair as an excuse to drop her.

Because likability is everything.

You get what you put in.

When you smile you get smiles in return. When you practice acting, you get better at it. When you choose to be faithful, you are. I can relate to that. When I don’t give anything to a project, to a friend, to cleaning the floors, I don’t get squat in return.

And right now, Kristen Stewart’s gettin’ squat.

So I guess the moral of the story is to smile more.

Either that, or to stop looking at tabloid magazines at the grocery store.

The Two Black Hairs on My Chinny Chin Chin

I have two black hairs on my chinny chin chin.

No warts or moles are involved. They are rebels, growing amongst a field of tiny blonde invisible hairs. Thick and silky, I’m sure they would grow to my belly button if I let them. But I don’t. I pluck them.

*audience heaves a sigh of relief*

But they’re always on my mind. It’s embarrassing to have chin hair, especially two black, thick rebellious chin hairs. I’ll be waiting in the doctor’s office, and someone will give me a weird sidelong glance, and I’ll think, “oh my gosh did I forget to pluck my chin hairs?”

Ladies aren’t supposed to suffer from black chin hairs.

I’ll be wrestling with my daughters and they’ll grab my chin in a headlock (“Let go, sweetie. Mommy needs to breath.”) and I’ll think about whether they feel those hairs.

Or when I’m with Michael, having a deep talk or … our quiet time. And he’ll be staring at me with eyes full of love and I’ll just be thinking about whether he can see those hairs. Even if I plucked them that morning, I still wonder if they’re there and are so ugly. What if he sees them? What if he’d be so put off he wouldn’t look at me that way again?

The worst I can think of was when I went to a concert, a Nickel Creek concert, way back when I was in college. And I got to meet the band. I was on cloud nine. But just as I walked away from shaking their hand and telling them they were God’s gift to mankind . . . I wondered if they saw my chin hairs.

Those blasted, bloody chin hairs.

Isn’t that crazy?

I mean . . . as I’m writing this I’m shaking my head at how self-involved it all is. Michael’s seen much worse on me than two black chin hairs. My girls wouldn’t care if I had a fu manchu mustache much less two hairs. And my favorite band–I don’t think they were staring at my chin the whole time, considering the hundreds of people crowding around them wanting their autograph.

 

 

Mommy?!

(photo by stylewithfashion)

If wonder if everyone has something like that about themselves? That sixth toe or red mole or lightning scar or stretch marks or extra-fifteen-pounds that you feel self-conscious about? That you fixate on when you’re feeling less-than-stellar about yourself?

So I just need to let go of this shame and self-involvement.

I need to believe that others will love me no matter what, chin or no-chin hair.

NO, I won’t prove to the world that I have great self-image by growing out my chin hairs.

*Michael heaves a great sigh of relief*

But I’m going to trash those thoughts about them. When I’m with others, it will be about them and me, and I won’t let my self-esteem butt in between us.

Is The Amazing Spiderman Same Ol’ Same Ol’?

Out of all the critiques I’ve heard about The Amazing Spider-man, the most common is that it’s the same story as Raimi’s 2002 version, Spider-Man. Same ol’ same ol’, people say. This is quite a heavy charge to lay against a movie, because everyone knows Hollywood hates coming out with the same story more than once, amIright? For me, the similarities between the films weren’t big enough to crush the tension or make me lose interest. But here I want to compare and contrast the films . . .

Read more at Blind Scribblings and Incoherent Grunts…

BSIG and How To Put On A Groovy Gaming Party

Remember my little stint for Slacker Heroes? Well when Slacker Heroes bit the dust, there was a gaping hole in my life. I wandered aimlessly around the cyberverse, writing blog-post length comments on movie reviews, and getting into bar room brawls on Facebook. Huh? You mean you haven’t been to the bar in Facebook? Hm. Maybe I just dreamed that…

Bar room brawls. Like this.

And then along came T.J. Brumfield and his new site, Blind Scribblings and Incoherent Grunts.

He was gracious enough to offer me a position as a staff writer. And I’ve not been in a fist fight since!

My first post was about unbelievability in movies: I Don’t Believe It! It’s about what makes movies lose their credibility.

My second post was a review on Billy Purgatory: I Am the Devil Bird by Jesse James Freeman.

And my third is a vlog about How To Put On A Groovy Gaming Party. Tip One: Don’t be above bribing your internet provider for a flawless experience. Tip Two: Don’t sell the host’s wifi password to the neighbors…

So I hope you check out all the great articles there, and hang out at the forums. This is going to be the start of a fantastic adventure, I can feel it.

Oh, and speaking of fantastic adventures . . . I finished the first draft to my book! The Silver Sickle is DONE. I printed it off and now I’m doing a read through and edit before sending it off to my beta readers. *slashes red pen like broadswords* die, grammar errors, DIE!

Me, on a grammar error killing rampage *red ink splatters on screen*

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