D&D: Basile’s Backstory

Here’s a fun fact, Basile was born on November 28th. So, to celebrate his belated birthday, it’s time to share his entire backstory with you!

As a writer, I can’t just write a simple backstory. No. I have to write a 65 page backstory including several developed scenes. Oops. At least it gives me something creative to do while I wait for the next session, and keeps my writing juices flowing.

Enjoy:

Eythan woke up earlier than usual.

The house was silent except for the gentle hum of the wood furnace trying to keep out the bitter chill. He rolled onto his side and curled into a ball, burrowing under the thick fleece blanket. Winter mornings in Modelheim were always unbearable until the sun poked over the mountains and warmed up the earth.

A loud snore broke the silence. Eythan peeked out from under the covers to stare at his brothers sharing the bunk bed at the opposite end of the room: Tomas the sleep-talker and Judah the snorer. He could barely see Tomas on the bottom, wrapped in a cocoon of blankets with only the top of his strawberry blond hair poking out. Meanwhile, Judah was practically hanging over the edge of the top bunk, his mouth open and drooling as he let one arm dangle.

Beside them, the door to their room was cracked open – most likely from their mother checking on them periodically in the middle of the night. She had picked up the habit shortly after Eythan’s horns started growing in. He didn’t like to think about how his mom may be a little afraid of him.

Continue reading

Advertisements

AOF: Cover Reveal and Available to Purchase

I know I typically post on Friday, but I don’t care. I’m breaking the pattern because it’s official. The Art of Falling is now available to purchase on Amazon in Paperback and for Kindle!

It still doesn’t feel like I’m a published author yet. I don’t think it will quite sink in until the first few reviews appear on Amazon, and a physical copy is on my bookshelf. You can bet I’m ordering one as soon as possible.

And check out the GORGEOUS cover that my publisher and I worked on. I am so happy with how it turned out. I am so thankful for the amount of brainstorming and time that went into determining what would be a good cover for the audience I’m aiming for, and I feel that this hits the nail on the head. Simple, clean, and easily able to expand into a series.

While an “official” launch through Dragon Moon Press won’t happen until after the holidays, I plan on holding a giveaway to win a free signed copy, as well as holding a book reading and signing.

But don’t feel like you have to wait for an official launch to get your hands on a copy. If you want paperback, you better hurry! Copies are selling fast (a lot faster than I expected, to be honest!) If you prefer digital, get it for your Kindle, or download the Kindle app to read on any device. Please a review and share with your friends! But most important, please enjoy reading Keir and Regal’s story. I have put a lot of time, energy, and soul into this work. It will mean the world to know that someone other than myself will get sucked into their life.

Now, onto the sequel.

 

ARTICLE: Dark Room Sees Bright Future

65ec84b569b8007d3c25013b04269c45

Professor David Lambert help his students with their cyanotype prints in the redesigned dark room on Nov. 11.

Located in the basement of Wilson Hall is a special room where students spend several hours working with chemicals under red safety lights to produce prints of their film photography.

On Oct. 22, the Art and Art History Department revealed the new dark room renovations.

“They’re not so much newer capabilities, but more functional,” Lecturer in Art and Photo/Media Lab Manager David Lambert explained. “The dark room is now split into two. One side is film only and one side is print only.”

The rooms are connected by a single black revolving door. In addition to the divided workspace, all of the rusted stainless steel sinks were replaced.

Kailey Johnson, a senior studying photography and cinema studies, has worked in the dark room both before and after renovations. She believes that the dark room has improved tremendously, especially the workflow.

“Previously people would have to maneuver their way around others, creating some dilemmas,” she explained.

However, with the digital age rushing forward at full speed, what is the importance of having traditional printing processes? Why continue to teach students how to work with film in a dark room?

According to Lambert, the advances in technology have sparked a rebirth of older processes.

“The digital age has made what we’re doing today relevant,” Lambert said. “The dark room lays a foundation for digital media. Basic photography principles such as depth of field, levels, and contrast are laid out in the dark room and we can see how that is reiterated in Photoshop. Photoshop played off of original dark room knowledge when developing its functions and features.”

“I own only film cameras,” Johnson said. “I prefer using film photography because digital can’t compete to the truest form of colors or blacks & whites.”

When asked what she thinks the importance of film photography is, Johnson believes that film is the root of photography.

“If Oakland didn’t have a dark room, or didn’t teach film photography, we wouldn’t be able to consider ourselves photographers,” she said. “You have to know the history and experience developing your own artwork before stepping into the digital age.”

In addition to learning the basics, students can utilize the new dark room in addition to digital processes for more advanced photography techniques.

“Now with alternative processes, we can work on the computer and we can print out a negative. In Photoshop students can manipulate a negative and print it out. It’s more accessible because they can jump into more advanced techniques,” Lambert explained.

He firmly believes that working in the dark room is essential for those who are interested in learning photography. It lays a foundation of how to properly work a camera by forcing students to slow down and focus. With film, students are limited to 24 or 36 frames per roll. There is “no luxury of messing up” like there is with digital.

“Patience is something that you learn throughout this process, but once you see the final results you feel so proud of yourself that you created this work of art,” Johnson added.

Students have the chance to experience the new darkroom. Black and white film photography courses are available for both majors and non-majors.

Written by Dani Cojocari. Originally published in The Oakland Post on November 16, 2015

D&D: Session 18 and 19

Ahh, it’s been so long since we sat down and played D&D. Boy, was this the HARDEST dungeon we have ever had to face. Some people died, serious life-changing decisions were made, and a tragedy triggered a year-long hiatus from adventuring. Then, it became one of the most laid back sessions of D&D ever, where most of it was cinematic descriptions and less dice rolling. It was a nice change of pace.

SESSION 18

Players:

  • Ciaran (LVL11) and Basile (LVL13)
  • Lorn (LVL 13)
  • Marven (LVL13)
  • Neebs (LVL 13)
  • Rhaegar (LVL 13)
  • Alkaid (LVL 13)
  • Kass (LVL 12)

Story:

After deciding that giants in the dungeon weren’t the first thing they wanted to face, the party heads upstairs. At the top of the stairs is a door, which Ciaran checks for traps and unlocks. Inside the room were two dread wraiths, a vampire and his seven spawns, and an antlered demon called a Death Drinker.

Upon their arrival, the Death Drinker laughs lowly and asks if they came here to die. Lorn answers no, to which the Death Drinker replied that “you’ve come to the wrong place.” “Thank you for letting us know!” Lorn says as he uses Mage Hand to try and close the door. However, that trick doesn’t work a second time. Marven boasts, “Let’s dance, big man! You picked the wrong town to fuck with,” and walks into the room.

Continue reading

ART: Neebs and Associates

So, over the last few months when I haven’t been working on my novel or playing D&D, I’ve been drawing in my free time. Of course, most of my drawings have been a way for me to let out my creative energy for D&D. Here are some of the pieces I’ve done since we started playing:

Basile and Ciaran 2

Ciaran and Basile

17991899_1562456483776644_9203434660657362755_n

The Neebs and Associates Portrait

neebs_and_associates_by_danicojo-dbh601i

Neebs and Associates

the_addler_family_by_danicojo-dblu2k8

The Addler Family

commission__marven_vs__neebs_star_wars_style_by_danicojo-dbmkqe9

Star Wars Marven vs Neebs – Commission

Marven v Ciaran 1

Alternate Ending: Facing the Scaled Fury

Basile amd Levi

Basile and Levi

LIFE: Five Years with Eddie, Eight Years of Youmacon

Last weekend I celebrated my five year anniversary with Eddie. It’s crazy to think that we’ve been together for five years, since it feels like not much time has passed.

For those who aren’t familiar, Eddie is my best friend and husband-to-be. He’s a Pisces, a youmafan of football, reading, D&D, and anime. While we grew up only a neighborhood apart (him going to Chippewa Valley and me going to L’Anse Creuse), as well as having several mutual friends, we didn’t meet until our paths crossed in the Creative Writing Club at Macomb Community College. Eventually he convinced me to join his Improv Comedy Club, and while I didn’t actively play any of the games, I was a committed audience member. Our first date was at the local mall, where we walked several laps, drank lemonade, and had our first kiss. Our second date was at Youmacon, where we spent the entire time roaming the convention (while I was dressed up as Danny Phantom.) Our courtship lasted a few days, and we were officially dating within the week.

Since then, we’ve been through so much together and have grown as individuals and as a couple. I’m very blessed to have him as my partner, and I can’t imagine a life without him in it.

Now, enough with the sappy stuff and onto Youmcaon recap! This year I had the pleasure of working Press with Team Final Rush to take photos with some other photographers. While they focused on cosplays in the halls, I focused on the cosplays that participated in the Masquerede Contest. Below are a few of my favorite shots taken from the night:

Continue reading

LIFE: Halloween House Warming!

This year has been filled with many big life changes. Eddie and I got engaged in February and have been wedding planning,  I recently got a new job in the Social Media Department at GM, and Eddie and I purchased our house in August.

We officially moved in at the beginning of October, right as I was starting training for my new job. Eddie was able to take a week off work to start the long painting process, and I would come home after work to assist.

When we first moved in, the house was a lot of beige and green colors which reminded me a lot of my parent’s house. They LOVE those colors, and while they were nice, we wanted to make it look like our place. So, we went with a cool gray color, along with a bright blue and pale yellow to lighten up the rooms. I love how they turned out, especially the rooms where we had some fun with the walls. My favorite space is definitely the family room, where our mosaic/geometric design really steals the show. I also love the color of the gray and teal stripes in the office, and the light purple and cream of the bedroom. If I had to change on thing, I probably would make the guest bedroom a lighter color. The peach that we were going for turned out a bit pink, and a little brighter than we expected.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We were ambitious to try and get everything done in a few weeks, since we wanted to have a Halloween House Warming Party. However, we managed to pull everything together! We live on a corner lot, so there was plenty of parking space for guests. And while it was a tad too cold to utilize our private backyard, we were able to comfortably fit all of our closest friends and family inside. Our friends visited to wish us good luck with our new house, providing some much needed gifts to help us out. We had great food, fun conversation, and plenty of space upstairs and downstairs for everyone to sit and relax.  I hope everyone had as much fun as I did hosting our first party in our new home.

I can’t believe that we’re officially homeowners, that Eddie and I have a place for ourselves where we’re going to grow together as friends and as husband and wife.

Now that house hunting is over, it’s back to wedding planning in full force. Only seven months until the big day!!