layla: grass at sunset (Default)
This is the blog of Alaskan writer/artist Layla Lawlor. Friend/defriend/follow at will.

Websites:

Active projects:


All entries to this blog are mirrored at both [livejournal.com profile] laylalawlor on Livejournal.com and [personal profile] layla on Dreamwidth.org.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
Well, hello there, rarely updated DW/LJ!

I am stopping by to announce, for any of you who don't already follow me on Facebook, Twitter, etc, that I am running a Kismet: Hunter's Moon kickstarter!



You can get the book for as little as $5 (digital) or get the print copy for $25 (b&w) or $45 (color), plus additional books and art at higher levels. Visit the link to see all the options! We are past the 2/3 mark, with 9 days to go!

If we make it to the stretch goals, there will be a print book of the Kismet side comics, additional backup stories, and other goodies.

We can do it! \o/
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I’ll be at Pioneer Park in the Bear Gallery (3rd floor, Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts) from noon-8 today for the First Friday opening of Cartoon North II. There’s sequential art on the walls from dozens of artists, some of whom will also have tables at the opening selling books, prints, cards, and so forth. I’ll be there with Freebird and Kismet!


Crossposted from Wordpress.  

2016 goals

Dec. 31st, 2015 05:43 pm
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Keepin' it simple. My goals for 2016:

- Do a Kickstarter for the Hunter's Moon book (THIS WILL BE THE YEAR!)
- Update Kismet every week and finish the year with a page buffer
- Keep up a regular writing schedule (ideally 10K/week)
- Write at least 4 novels, one of which should not be paranormal romance
- Improve my marketing/social media efforts (e.g. update my blog more, do more Kismet promo, etc)
- Edit and self-publish Gatekeeper
- Edit and submit the steampunk novel to Dreamspinner
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I did the first of these year-end roundups in 2006, so this is the 10th year I've done it and probably the strangest one I've written so far.

The thing is, I hardly did anything at all on my 2015 list! So technically this year should be a dismal failure ... except this year was actually amazing because (thanks to a friend) I discovered a new "door" into writing and self-publishing, and I basically took off like a rocket. I wrote 456,000 words this year (by comparison, my previous best year was 2013, when I wrote 270,900 words. And this year's words were almost entirely useful words, as opposed to most years, when my technical annual word count doesn't take into account all of the aborted projects and false starts. This year, nearly everything I wrote through the whole year was either a completed project I self-published on Amazon, or something I submitted somewhere. And I made decent money off my writing for the first time ever.

But the awkward thing is, I can't talk about a lot of it, because a lot of what I'm writing is paranormal erom (erotic romance) under pseudonyms and I'm not ready to disclose them publicly yet. I did launch the Lauren Esker pen name for slightly plottier paranormal/shifter romance, and Lauren now has a website and a mailing list and is generally doing pretty well.

Looking back at last New Year's goals:

- I DID NOT: edit any damn thing, publish the Hunter's Moon book (which has been on every single one of the last 10 years' lists; it's the world's most amazing procrastination success story), or finish the year with a decent page buffer for Kismet (though I do have next week's page done!)
- I DID: write two novels (actually considerably more than two), keep up with Kismet updates (with one or two skip weeks, but mostly I did pretty well), and I have done amazing at keeping up with a writing schedule and marketing (of my erom/paranormal romance) this year if I do say so myself, though I really need to do better on marketing Kismet and maintaining my blog. I also attended an anime convention and two local shows, got a print version of the first Sun-Cutter chapter together, and started selling more craft/art stuff.

Back shortly with 2016 goals!
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This is for Chuck Wendig’s character creation flashfic challenge. Anyone can participate — rules are at the link. Post your description of a character, link to it at Chuck’s blog, and next week people will pick from the communal character pool and play with them!

Key: the dragon space librarian

Key is a dragon who hoards knowledge. She [or perhaps he, or it, or they] dwells in a hollowed-out asteroid, networked with tunnels — spacious, well-lit, and warm, with lamplit reading nooks every so often — that are filled with books. Key has a copy of every physical book, from Earth and a thousand other worlds, that she can get her claws on. But there is more than that: the station houses a computer at its heart that has what Key claims is a repository of all knowledge from the entire span of recorded history.

This is clearly an exaggeration.

Still, if you are looking for a piece of information that can be found nowhere else in the galaxy, Key’s Library is the best place to go — making it a mecca for the desperate, the lost, the seekers of knowledge … and of course a certain number of bounty hunters and their ilk. You will be welcomed, and fed, and given access to the library for as long as you like.

Key loves talking to visitors.

But in order to leave, you must give her a book she doesn’t already have, or a piece of information that is not in the computer. If not, well …

(Whether the outcome of not being able to do this is “… and then she eats them” or “… and then they stay as part of her staff of space librarians and help a space dragon curate an asteroid full of books” is left up to the individual writer.)


Crossposted from Wordpress.  
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I have a new book out as Lauren Esker, Handcuffed to the Bear. It’s been added to my books page. (Hopefully Amazon will have the “Look Inside!” working soon. At least it’s not just me; it looks like things are laggier than usual right now.) It’s tropey F/M romance, this time on the general theme of “handcuffed together and hunted in the wilderness”. With extra bonus ensemble action.

I’m planning to put together a print version of the first 68 pages of Sun-Cutter for Senshi-Con in September. I worked on the cover today – process photos are posted at the Kismetcity tumblr and also on my Patreon.

SOMEONE WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS challenged me to write a submission for this anthology (the werefolk one, not the alien artifacts one, though both sound fascinating). SOMEONE ELSE WHO SHALL ALSO REMAIN NAMELESS pointed me toward this one.  (I have the worst friends. And by worst I mean best.) I’m somewhat snowed under, but hoping to manage a submission to at least one of these!

And speaking of things I don’t have time to write, I think this week’s flashfic challenge at Chuck Wendig’s blog sounds marvelous — this week, create a character and sketch them out in 250 words or less. Next week, all these characters will be up for grabs for people to write about. This kind of collaborative fiction-writing totally sounds like my jam. In fact, I might work on something for that tonight …


Crossposted from Wordpress.  
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Wolf-in-Sheep's-Clothing-400px

I have a new alias! I will be writing het (F/M) romance as Lauren Esker.

(Some of you who follow me here have heard me talk about this elsewhere, so this won't be news to you.)

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing – Can the big bad wolf and a sheep shifter have a happy ending? Curvy farm girl Julie Capshaw was always warned away from the wolf shifters next door, but Damon Wolfe is the motorcycle-riding, smoking hot alpha wolf of her dreams.

Lauren’s books will be mostly paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Feel free to like and follow "her" (me) on Facebook; I'll have snippets of upcoming novels, photos reference for the books, and stuff like that. There shouldn't be anything non-worksafe, although the books do contain sex scenes.


Crossposted from Wordpress.  
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

This evening we hiked up our hill in a direction we’d never been before to investigate a large and suspiciously square clearing that Orion found on Google Earth (we’ve lived here 11 years and we’re still finding new things!). We did eventually find it, though it’s so overgrown that it was very difficult to determine its age or, most of all, WHY someone cleared a bunch of trees in a large square block in the middle of nowhere, with no apparent roads going to it. Thwarted homesteader perhaps? Lost pioneers? We found some stumps that we were pretty sure were cut with an axe; if so, this area was cleared a century ago! Fairbanks’s dry climate and slow-growing trees are excellent at preserving old wood. There is, however, no sign of occupation: collapsing cabins, old vehicles, etc.

We decided, eventually, that this was probably a woodcutting area for the early-1900s gold-mining operation in the valley. In an area that’s mostly scraggly swamp spruce, this particular small ridge seems to support large birch trees, many of which are now growing in clusters as if growing up from old birch stumps. Our theory is that the turn-of-the-century miners would climb the hill to cut wood (with hand tools!) and then skid the logs down the hill to the valley where they used them for firewood or construction.

SDC15588

Most of the walk up to the clearing is through black spruce forest with a dense carpet of moss underneath. We came upon this fungus-encrusted fallen spruce log and I thought it was neat enough to take a picture of it.

SDC15591

As we wandered around the clearing, we found ourselves conducting tree-stump CSI. This looks like old axe marks to us.

More photos under the cut.

Read the rest of this entry )


Crossposted from Wordpress.  

layla: grass at sunset (Default)

Here’s where I will be in 2016:

Cartoon North II opening
June 3, noon-8pm
Bear Gallery, Pioneer Park, Fairbanks, AK
Art show will be up all month!

Senshi-Con
Oct. 1 & 2, 11am-8pm
Egan Convention Center, Anchorage, AK

UWA Women’s Bazaar
Nov. 5 & 6, 10am-4pm
Pioneer Park Centennial Center for the Arts, Fairbanks, AK

Pop Con
[Exact dates uncertain, November 2016]
UAF Wood Center, Fairbanks, AK

Later plans for the year are still slightly tentative. At the UWA show I will be sharing a table with Ellen Million of Ellen Million Graphics.


Crossposted from Wordpress.  
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
Kismet has a new home for updates:

http://suncutter.tumblr.com/

The old site will remain up, but the comic will no longer update weekly there. (Though I'll still be updating it as a perma-archive in batches of pages every few months.)

The reason for the move is because I needed somewhere I could schedule automated updates rather than having to update the comic manually each week. This means fewer missed updates for you, and easier updating for me!

The new site uses Disqus comments, like the old one, and the overall look is similar. You shouldn't notice too many differences. The only major difference is that I'm now including text transcripts below each comic, for anyone who has trouble reading the words on the image.

And this week's page IS up, fyi!
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Status of the Kismet Page-a-Thon:

Penciled:


5 pages of 12.

Inked:


5 pages of 12.

Scanned/Cleaned up/Lettered:


0 pages of 12.

Colored:


0 pages of 12.

I still know there's no way I'm going to actually manage this many pages in one week. Plus, I jumped ahead and did an easy scene first, so it'll slow down as I get back into the Galleria stuff. But I'm making good progress so far!

I also posted some Kismet things on Tumblr:
Some thoughts on Linton's sense of identity
A short Sagan fiction snippet
A brief fic with Stella & Morphine

(The latter two are part of a new project I'm trying for awhile, writing little text snippets featuring randomly generated characters. I'll do a proper roundup post eventually.)
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
I'm slipping farther and farther behind on my Kismet page buffer, so this week is gonna be a Kismet Page-A-Thon. One of my goals for May is to get pages done through the end of summer (since June and July, at the very least, are usually too busy to get anything done Kismet-wise), so I'm gonna put that up as my week's goal and see how much of it I can get done. I know I won't manage it all - I'll be over the moon if I can just get the penciling/inking part done - but let's see how it goes, shall we? I got two pages penciled and inked today, so that's excellent progess!

Penciled:


2 pages of 12.

Inked:


2 pages of 12.

Scanned/Cleaned up/Lettered:


0 pages of 12.

Colored:


0 pages of 12.

I also posted an old Telulah Hawkins text snippet on Tumblr (something I came across while going through old AppleWorks files). I'm going to be putting more Kismet stuff up on the Tumblr this month, but I'll always link from here (possibly in batches, if I end up posting a LOT).
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http://www.kismetcity.com/suncutter/sc73.shtml

If the split-screen page effect is weird and hard to follow, let me know! I thought about doing the two scenes separately, but then decided to run them side by side. (A layout decision which probably made more sense when I originally drew these pages, at which point the narration went straight from the split-screen introductory shot of Linton and Signy to this page. The dream sequence was added a bit later.)
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The May rewards package for the $5+ backers has been uploaded. This month is material from the sketchbook: character designs and so forth.

I've also gone back and made the first couple of rewards packages for last year free to everybody, so you can see what kind of stuff I put in these - here are October and November of last year. I'm not going to be doing this every time, but I figured free samples are nice, so you can see what you're getting, right?

Also, if you are a Patreon backer and you haven't already, stop by my activity feed - there is a question for you there! [livejournal.com profile] allanh had the AMAZING idea of sneakily working Patreon backers' names into the business names in the upcoming Galleria crowd scene. And so I shall. :D So you need to tell me if you have a preference - if you'd rather have your name on a flower shop or a gun store, for example! (Or if you'd rather be included as, say, a busker in the background, or a guy riding a unicycle - I can do that too.)

If you read Kismet and the idea of being immortalized in the comic sounds like fun, but you aren't a Patreon backer ... well, there is an easy fix for that! It's $1/month minimum, and you can cancel at any time. I'm doing this for all the backers, not the ones at certain levels, though you do get extra stuff at the higher levels.

Obligatory mention that the comic is free, will always be free, and I don't care at all if people read it without paying - please do! :) The Patreon is just if you want extra stuff and feel like kicking some dollars to me.
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After more than a decade of comic, you finally get to see Linton's meet-cute with Janna.

http://www.kismetcity.com/suncutter/sc71.shtml
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Kicking off a new chapter with a 2-page update.



http://www.kismetcity.com/suncutter/sc69.shtml

(Which may also be one of the most depressing pages I've ever written.)

As a reminder, Kismet has RSS feeds: [syndicated profile] suncutter_feed on DW and [livejournal.com profile] suncutter_feed on LJ. For awhile I got lazy about announcing updates elsewhere, but I'm going to start being conscientious about it again, so you can also follow the Kismet tumblr (where I also reblog space/tech/science stuff) or the Kismet facebook page for updates.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

We went for a walk in the sunshine today, and the cat tagged along.

catwalk1

catwalk2

catwalk3

catwalk4

Well, at least he seems to be enjoying himself.

 


Crossposted from Wordpress.  
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

The last couple of months, I’ve been posting photos to Twitter because, well … I’m lazy and it’s easy. But, for those who don’t follow me there, or if you just missed a few, here’s a “best of” winter photo roundup.

Amaryllis

DSCN2377cropped

DSCN2379cropped

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More photos under cut )


Crossposted from Wordpress.  

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