Z is for… Zombies!

In which Latimer really scares herself… right before bedtime!

Latimer: I’ve been thinking about going back and watching The Walking Dead.

I gave up after series one. With only a few series really holding my interest at the moment, I am contemplating returning to Rick Grimes’ grim world!

I have to out-and-out say I’m not a person who has a plan for the zombie attack and they scare the crap out of me!

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in America made a zombie apocalypse post (it was really what to do during disease outbreaks, but with zombies for fun). LINK

The reason I don’t have a plan, is because, I’m convinced I wouldn’t survive. I’d probably be eaten/infected during the initial outbreak, or by some strange chance I’d survive and just waste away (because I’d be too afraid to run). I’d hole up in an apartment somewhere, too scared to move and bemoaning the lack of internet while the zombies gather. And if they are like the World War Z ones… well I’d never have made it to the apartment (FACT).

Zombies seem to be everywhere at the moment.

I’m really looking forward to this Warm Bodies movie…. It has to be the most interesting take on the zombie genre:

I remember watching zombie/outbreak movies when I was very young.

I watched one about a disease that killed everyone in the world, bar a tiny group of people (it had something to do with the Devil I think? Argh, I can’t remember – I must have blocked it out).

At one point they walked into a shop and just started eating all the sweets and junk. And I remember thinking to my young self, ‘God! That’s great! I could eat all the jellys and crisps I want!’

Ha, though in reality, the whole thought scared me so much! Even now, the idea of a disease outbreak – argh, it’s just too scary! And yet… I still wanna watch The Walking Dead! And I still watch scary computer game trailers…

I remember also watching Tremors… okay not zombies, but the same idea (oh god that movie… you know it’s actually a dark comedy? Hard to laugh though, when your like, 6yrs old!); it really, really scared me!

 

I couldn’t walk on the ground for ages. And I would constantly think; ‘if I need to get upstairs, can I do it without walking on the ground?’

And I would actually play this game; ‘get to the other side of the room without touching the ground’ (yep… back then I had a plan for the Tremors monsters, but not anymore… now I’d be like ‘take me! It’s not worth it!’).

The survival plan tends to disappear as the years go on!

I mean, do you ever wonder…? What would you do in the zombie attack? Hopefully they are like the Warm Bodies zombies and not The Walking Dead ones!

And then again, hopefully it NEVER happens!

Legend Unleashed Artwork

They’re soooo beautiful!! *gasp*

We are so unbelievably happy to share some Legend Unleashed artwork with you! We have been in contact with some fabulous artists. They read our book and we commissioned them to do some artwork for us! The resulting images left us walking on air for days!

Legend Unleashed is part of the Young Adult and Urban fantasy genres, so plenty of romance, adventure and magic (and werewolves :))… these images capture this perfectly and we couldn’t be happier with them!

I’m Alastair Byron (the first meeting, ahhh… squee overload!) by mseregon

This piece was done by the wonderfully talented meseregon (please check out her artwork she is just amazing and she was an absolute pleasure to work with! http://mseregon.deviantart.com/). The soft colouring really captures the wintry atmosphere and Temperance’s expression is priceless! It really catches the moment perfectly!

Character sketches for Temperance and Alastair (Legend Unleashed by MLR). Artwork by palnk
The Legend is Unleashed, tick-tock, tick-tock (artwork by palnk)

These two pieces were done by the amazingly talented palnk (please check out her artwork, her pieces are lovely  http://palnk.deviantart.com/). She was a lovely person to work with also. The first image shows various events in the first few chapters as well as some initial character designs. The main picture shows Temperance and Alastair against the backdrop of Carwick, magic and werewolves! What more could you want? Both of the characters look amazing.

The Witch of Kyteler’s Inn

Ridley: I was in Kyteler’s Inn in Kilkenny at the weekend, it’s one of my favourite places in the city to visit, I always get the breaded chicken with garlic butter for lunch. Yummers! I also always spend my meal chewing and staring around at all the different bits and bobs lining the walls and shelves; rusted trombones, old jars, flags, plates and impressive wrought iron chandeliers. Not to mention the fake witch huddling over a cauldron in the hearth of a massive fire place, over to the side. (She gave me a fright the very first time I saw her!)

The best thing about Kyteler’s Inn, other than the food, is the story behind it. It’s a really old stone house, in the style of an old merchant’s building or a tavern, and its final owner was accused of witchcraft. This accusation was one of the very first in Europe. Lady Alice Kyteler managed to get away, though her servant was caught. She was forced into a fake confession, implicating Alice and then she was burned at the stake.

Another really interesting point, Lady Kyteler is mentioned in the poem, Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen by William Butler Yeats, which makes reference to these accusations.

There were various reasons for these charges. Alice Kyteler was married four times; each of her husbands died, there were rumours all through these marriages that she was poisoning them. 

Spreading and listening to these stories, the children and relatives of her husbands accused her of murder. It was also said she was a very good looking woman, who could ensnare men with her charms and manipulated them into lavishing her with gifts. Unnatural looks and unnatural charms, possibly due to magic spells, everyone whispered.

There was also major resentment within the community from her involvement as a money-lender; she was supposedly quite ruthless.

So we are left wondering whether she had any allies, though she must have done as she managed to escape to England and never stand trial.

When you visit the inn now, her story is on the menu, so if you go there, not only can you order the garlic butter covered breaded chicken but you read all about Alice for yourself!

The Mortal Instruments Movie Trailer

Ridley: The new film trailer is out for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare!! Latimer sent me the link to the trailer, it was breaking news on MTV, news that I didn’t know was being broken, but I’m not too long out of the loop!

I’ve been waiting forever for this film to be announced, ever since there were rumours of rumours of a film being made. And by the by, if you haven’t read these books, you’re definitely missing out! You know what you need to do, buy it, grab some tea, lock yourself up and turn your phone off.

Having seen the trailer, I’m a little disappointed in it…but I’m holding off judgement on the film. I quite like the fight scenes, they seem exciting, but the rest of it doesn’t really mesh with what I thought it would be like. The actors that have been chosen aren’t what I have in my head. Though are they ever? So I’m holding off on my final opinion. Knowing me though, I’ll probably skip out of the cinema with a giant smile and heart shaped eyes, announcing that it was, ‘Brilliant…though of course not near as good as the books!’ (No movie is ever as good as the book, you know I’m right 😛 )

Out Now!

HUZZAH!!

Latimer and Ridley: So we’re done, it’s out!

What’s out you asked? Our book, Legend Unleashed! We’ve pushed the button!

It’s available now, as an e-book, see the links below if you’re interested!

The paperback will follow on soon enough, we’re just waiting on the proof copy to arrive in the post so we can look over it and make sure there are no issues.

It’s been such a steep learning curve, but really worth it! It was fantastic that we had full control over every part of the process. It’s also been hard work though, with long hours put in and full ‘bookwork’ weekends, so don’t let anyone fool you into thinking self-publishing is an easy task! We finished writing the book many many many months ago. In the time since we’d typed ‘the end’, we’ve spent the rest of our days editing, agonising, formatting, fist shaking, commissioning our cover design, smiling, book trailers, grinning and that was just the start!

In the past, we’ve been asked how the two of go about writing a book together (we’re also fascinated by how other writing duos work together, so we love these explanations. Skip down through this part if you don’t care though!!) We always start with a single idea, whether it’s a scene, a ‘what if’ scenario, or a character. We seem to have plenty of these knocking around! More often than not, it’s a character. After this comes the fun part, world building! We love this, picking character names, places and plotting the story.

We let our imaginations run free scribbling it all down on an A4 pad as we sip on endless cups of tea; what would happen if we…? If he did this….? If she went there…? Wouldn’t it be great if…? If you read this part, what would you want him to do…? It’s the ultimate freedom, we just run wild! After this, we tease out any issues, then we divide them into chapter summaries. Each summary has bullet points, information taken from the plot and any extras we think of as we’re going along, with exactly what we need to have happen. Then these summaries get divided out, we get two chapters each at a time and usually one of us starts the book and the other ends it. This gives us the chance to experience at least part of the book as readers, rather than just the authors. We give each other constant feedback after each chapter stint. In this way, we’ve written six books together, Legend Unleashed is our fifth book and the most polished. So we decided to bite the bullet and self-publish it.

So far it’s been a great decision! Has it been the same for others who have followed the same path? We’d love to hear their tales!

We’re staring into the dark void, not knowing what’s to come, but either way we look forward to what the future might bring!

Sample chapters:

Legend Unleashed Prologue-Chapter 4

Author: M. Latimer-Ridley
Publisher: Cranmer Publishing
Available to buy:  
E-book: Amazon US
E-book: Amazon UK
Paperback: Amazon UK
Paperback: CreateSpace Page

Bram Stoker Festival 2012

Spooky, ghoulish goings-on, in the courtyards of Dublin Castle this bank holiday weekend… welcome to Bram Stoker’s imagination!

Ridley: The Bram Stoker festival was packed with things to do all weekend, from talks by Patricia Cornwell, writing workshops for children, plays and discussions on vampires. Christopher Lee was even awarded the Bram Stoker Gold Medal by the Philosophical society in Trinity College for his past role as Dracula. Bram, in his time at Trinity, was the president of this society.

So many of these events were ticket only and sold out quite quickly!

Latimer: We didn’t realise until too late that you had to have tickets for these events! So we really missed out. Derek Landy (author of Skulduggery was talking in one of the theatres) and there were lots of talks about vampires and vampirism in Trinity College (as Ridley says, Bram’s old Alma mater). There were a lot of interesting talks, and I was really disappointed that we didn’t get to go to them! 🙁

Ridley: Well, no matter, we did manage to get tickets to one event at least!

We attended a night time, outdoor performance by the award winning street theatre company, Spraoi, in the Grand Courtyard of Dublin Castle. It was held there as Bram used to have a tedious desk job in one of the offices in the castle.

Latimer: I like to imagine Bram sitting at a desk inside the fantastic building that is Dublin Castle, daydreaming about Romania and vampires! I wonder did Dublin Castle spark off any dreams of Vlad’s castle? You can just picture vampire’s roaming the darkness of the Castle courtyards…

Our good friend Orbie joined us on this night of terror! She told me that there was a Bram Stoker App (made by the Science Gallery), that was devised for the festival. The App uses your phone GPS to tell you if you are in a hotspot for vampires or ghosts in Dublin. When it tells you, you are, you take a photo of the street or area, and a ghost will appear on your image! Or so Orbie told me… While we waited in the queue to go into the Castle courtyard… we tried to find some ghosts!

Then we got bored and the queue started moving, so we were swept inside and pretty much forgot until now about this App!

There was the chilling sound of people moaning like ghosts… The idea of the event was scenes and characters from Dracula. As the crowd moved forward under the arch into the courtyard, we were met with a massive moon display, against the backdrop of a dark and eerie courtyard. There was a man sitting within the moon, screaming and shouting…

We were pulled into a dark world, filled with vampires and ghouls. There were performers wandering around the cold courtyard, screaming and hissing.

As I was standing staring at an eerie display (wedding dresses hanging off a man-made tree) a ghoulish performer came up to me and started pulling at a plastic bag I was holding (it contained a proof copy of our book, which I was handing off to Ridley). I gave a nervous laugh, “you’re really getting into this” I said, there was absolutely no break in character, she raced off to pull at some of the other people (some of the crowd was also dressed up for the night as vampire’s and devils – she was particularly fascinated by these people, me in my north face jacket didn’t do much for her! Boring I guess!). 

As we walked from display-to-display, a rock band played Gothic sounding music under arches lit in an eerie green glow…

Vampire girls dressed in haunting white dresses stalked through the crowd. They came together at one display (a bench lit by a single street lamp) and performed a strange struggle – pulling out of a young girl dressed in white (eventually turning her into a vampire). I think these girls were Dracula’s vampire women!

As Orbie was talking her photos of this performance… this girl crept up behind her!

Naturally, I started snapping photos, THEN, I said “Orbie… behind you!” and she turned and jumped out of the way with a yelp, “JAYSUS”!

The crowd started to move then over to a macabre display of an autopsy table… two vampire ghouls were pulling at the body… Afterward I got some photos and it looks pretty creepy… The face… the face! Very scary!

All the while, a carriage was working its way through the crowd… the man inside looks like he could be someone important… eh? Well, yep, as it turns out, this guy was playing Bram Stoker…

He was heading towards this large wooden construct;

Once he reached the top he read to us, telling us to stay in the light, and out of darkness… away from the shadows…

He then sat back, writing at a typewriter.

Nearby, there was a display in the corner that looked important.. 

There was a massive coffin beside it… Dracula making his way from the port (as in the book… which for me is actually the Gary Oldman movie… I remember the port from the movie!)

Out of it came this massive skeleton! Dracula!

A performer dressed up as a more manageable-sized Dracula, made his way to Bram in his wooden tower, along with all the hissing vampire ladies!

Dracula looks like he’s smiling here, haha, going, ‘this is great! look at me Mammy!’ haha

Bram brought the night to an end, with a brief final reading from the book. It was pretty cool.

Ridley: The event was really interesting! (Though it was wet and absolutely freezing!! Our hands were red raw, time to buy some gloves, me thinks!).

Latimer: Yea! My hands felt like I’d stuck them in a -80 freezer! The pain traveled right up my arms! It was so cold! God bless my north face jacket (the best buy ever!) – it did save me from the cutting breeze, I just needed some gloves!

Well, afterward everyone made their way home, out of Bram Stoker’s dreams and back to reality… Which took the form of a woman dancing in the window of her apartment (which faced an entrance to Dublin Castle)! She had the lights on, the curtains pulled back and was going wild dancing. Everyone stood there laughing (of course she knew everyone could see!). Then she jumped away, leaving her two flatmates (who were sitting down on the couch) staring blankly out at us! 

The festival was fun, hopefully they’ll make it a yearly thing! It would be pretty interesting. We’ll hopefully be more prepared next year! 🙁

Dracula and Bram Stoker

What’s Bram Stoker got to do with Dublin?

Latimer: I admit that up until a few years ago, I didn’t know that Bram Stoker was Irish (maybe you do and you are gasping at my ignorance right now). It was actually a bit of a shock to me when I found out.

He is, for some unknown reason, not a writer we often talk about. He passes unnoticed.

While we wax lyrical about Joyce and Wilde, we never mention Stoker.

Another famous son 🙂

While vampire’s and vampirism literature were around long before Stoker’s time, he is now remembered as the creator of vampire lore. It just goes to show the power of his story-telling. He never even visited Romania.

Bran’s Castle, Vlad the Impaler’s castle

Bram Stoker started life as a very sickly child, spending his early years bed-ridden (up until the age of 7yrs). People say this is probably what led to the development of his fantastical imagination. Bram himself remarked later; “I was naturally thoughtful, and the leisure of long illness gave opportunity for many thoughts which were fruitful according to their kind in later years.”

When he grew up, he left the sick-bed behind. He attended Trinity College Dublin (TCD 🙂 ), played rugby and was a fantastic athlete like many other members of his family.

But, why am I talking about Stoker?

Recently I attended a talk about Bram Stoker’s medical family. And at this talk, I learned that this year is the centenary of Bram Stoker’s death and Dublin is readying itself to celebrate its, bizarrely overlooked son, with the first Festival of Bram Stoker, which will be held in October.

The Stoker’s shaped Dublin in many ways and were very influential at the time in Ireland.

They were a very well-to-do family. They lived in many grand houses dotted around Dublin. If you’ve ever been to the city, you’ll know there are lots of old Georgian style town houses around the streets. Bram Stoker’s family home is preserved on Kildare St (which is very near Trinity College). 

They were an intelligent family; there were 4 boys, including Bram, the 3 other brothers became doctors. And they had 9 cousins that also became doctors.

Sir William Thornley Stoker, President of RCSI

Bram Stoker’s brother, Sir William Thornley Stoker, was the former President of the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI). Because his cousin William Stoker, was also a doctor, Sir William went by the name ‘Thornley’. I think that’s a cool name, Thornley Stoker… sounds, strangely enough, like a vampire hunter!  

Bram wasn’t interested in being a doctor. He studied mathematics in Trinity. He was also an active member of the University Philosophical Society. He petitioned for a young Oscar Wilde to join the society. He would eventually end up marrying Florence Balcombe, Wilde’s childhood sweetheart. When Wilde realised they were engaged, he left Ireland more or less for good, only returning twice more in his life. But, when Wilde was living in Europe (after his release from prison), Stoker would often visit him.

Lyceum Theatre, London

After a few years working in Dublin, Bram moved to England to become the manager of the Lyceum Theatre and of Henry Irving (the most famous and best actor of the day).

Bram also got to work on writing Dracula. He was a very methodical writer. He had a book that contained all of his notes, and timetables of events in the story. He would write down train timetables, to make sure that when trains appeared in his book, they ran according to the correct schedule. He also often wrote to his brother Sir William and would ask his medical opinion on any such events in the book. Sir William would write back and tell him, ‘yes, if he is hit here, this will happen’ and what pressure points should be detailed.

Brams notes

There was speculation that Bram got a lot of inspiration for the Dracula novel from stories his mother would tell him about the cholera epidemics in Sligo (where she was from). She would tell him stories about people being buried alive (which apparently they often were during the cholera epidemics).

Events and stories were noted in his notebook, along with newspaper clippings of strange events or interesting things that happened around him.

Dracula was published in 1897- and a first edition of the book, today is worth 250,000 euro!!

Original cover

The Bram Stoker society in Ireland is trying hard to get Stoker more recognised as an Irishman. They are collecting money to commission a statue of Bram Stoker to be put on display in Dublin.

The city is known for its statues… we have a lot!

Patrick Kavanagh, on the canal bench
Oscar Wilde in Merrion Park
Brendan Behan, Royal Canal just off Dorset Street
James Joyce, North Earl Street just off O’Connell Street
Children of Lir, Garden of Remembrance Parnell Square
Irish Famine statues, North Quays

Joyce and Wilde are happily on display… the poet Patrick Kavanagh sits (unhappily perhaps!) on a bench by the canal; but no Stoker!

Dublin is trying to reclaim Stoker- and why not? Hopefully it works; I think it would be nice to have a statue of Bram Stoker in Dublin. It was really interesting hearing about how his family shaped various parts of Dublin.

Myself and Ridley are primed and ready to go to the Stoker Festival! Stay tuned for that post 🙂

Bram Stoker Festival 2012 Post

 

TED x Dublin = Fantastic

Ridley: I was at a full day of TEDx talks on Saturday. I don’t know if anyone else ever watches the TED videos online (they can be found, funnily enough, at ted.com) These video clips are recorded at TED talks carried out all around the world, they can be inspirational, funny, sad, pack to the gills with techy/sciencey/ fun information from world renowned experts. This year, (though not for the first time ever-supposedly we’ve had small TED talks before this that I never knew about) there was a talk held in the Grand Canal theatre. (‘Twas Latimer who sent me an email to let me know they were on, I booked it immediately-she knows me well!)

I was really looking forward to it; the geek in me continued to give little shivers of excitement all week. (It was sort of creepy)

But I anticipated that I’d learn loads.

Even just from the last few Ted video clips I’ve watched on their website, I came away knowing what a snollygoster was (some words sound more exciting than their meanings) that animals can show moral behaviour like humans (very interesting, confirms my beliefs that animals are very smart. And the end bit with the monkeys, the cucumber pieces and the grapes is hilarious.) and I’ve watched Steve Job’s Stanford University commencement speech quite a few times (really really inspiring).

Considering I get such enjoyment out of seeing these clips all online, I could only imagine how great it was going to be with TED presenters in real life.I wasn’t disappointed! Even when I spent much of the few days before it daydreaming about what it was going to be like. I pictured myself at the theatre wearing round glasses, in a pin striped skirt suit thing, conversing with the informed important people on stage about their findings. In my head, I imagined I had an intelligent ‘tell me more’ frown and my nods were slow. I also often paused in thought, before I jotted down comprehensive notes for later. I dreamed the speakers’ jaws would drop at my fantastic insight into their fields of study and I’d sit back and cross my arms with a smug expression and the words, ‘oh, I know’. I had an image of a stunned audience gaping at me as I got up to leave the room. I’d marched away from the building, slipping on a pair of expensive sunglasses, shaking out my (suddenly) long blonde hair, as two helicopters battled it out overhead, while I slid into the leather front seat of a black sleek sports car with a James Bond type man waiting for me at the wheel. He’d have very white teeth…

(Ahem….yes…well being fairly quiet in large groups of more than six people, I don’t think this scenario will ever play out quite like this. It’s a pity as, in my head, that helicopter gun fight was pretty epic….and his teeth really were quite sparkly.)

So what really happened (I hear you sigh in exasperation)? I went and I frowned alright, but it was more of a grimace of confusion. The only thing I used my pen for was to scratch my head and any ‘notes’ started with ‘Whaaaaat’ and ended with a lot of question marks. Haha. Nah, this only really happened during one talk filled with statistics on urban settlements, my blonde brain followed along surprisingly well with everyone else! However, there were no smart-looking glasses or flashy suits anywhere near me! Try jeans and a t-shirt, turns out this smart casual was the dress code of everyone else too! I lucked out there! I was also seats and seats away from the stage. The only way the speakers were ever going to know I was there was if I’d been forcibly removed by security for setting off a fire cracker, or from falling down a long row of steps and landing in a heap at their feet (this is more likely than you could ever realise! My feet hate me. ‘Hello right foot, I’m bored. Want to play?’ ‘Sure, leftie, I’ll come over!’ Ridley frowns down in slow motion, “Noooo…” *thump*).

Anyway…yes, I loved all the talks! They touched on topics like genetics, civic pride, comedy, art, the environment, architecture, public transport (I’d never have believed I could find learning about bus routes entertaining, but I did! And no, I’m not insane-yet!). There was even a band, The Amazing Few, who made us all get up and do a dolphin dance. I didn’t quite resemble a dolphin, more like a flopping dying fish. It basically involved a lot of awkward wriggling, jerking and bending while you tried to stay well clear of the strangers beside you in case they got the wrong idea!

I learned there’s an important link between bats and the advancement in genetics, health and agriculture. Despite this, the only bat I like is the one who sounds like he suffers from laryngitis; Batman! (The music always plays in head when I say his name. Daah na na na na na naa…now you can hear it too, can’t you? Mwhaa.)

In another talk I found out that a chance meeting of two men over a second dinner, because the spot-on-the-plate-just-give-me-a-bag-of-chips nouvelle cuisine of the 1980s still left you hungry enough to eat your arm, could lead to the establishment of one of the most important research endeavours carried out by the genetics department in Trinity College, Dublin.

I gained insight into great minds of the world renowned architect Daniel Libeskind (the man behind the master plan at Ground Zero in New York and even the designer of the very theatre I ended up listening to his speech in) and visual artist Kevin Abosch (whose photographed some of the most famous people in the world, including Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Scarlett Johansson…)

All in all, what could have been a day of absolute hell for some people was my idea of a grand ole time! I spent hours in the same room as the movers, shakers, thinkers and leaders of different fields. (Comedian Dara O’Briain was in the audience with us too, you know. I found this out via twitter from someone else who was there, technology is amazing really. He studied mathematics and theoretical physics in University College Dublin, you know. A very funny and extremely smart man! And I quite like watching his show ‘School of Hard Sums.’)

TEDx Dublin was enlightening, fascinating and in a way made me quite jealous, the speakers were all so passionate about what they do in their day-to-day lives. They clearly loved their work.

And personally, I think we all search for that, don’t we? To be inspired and in turn inspire others?

So it was nice to be inspired for the day!

(Of course when I came out of the theatre to find my car was clamped (street clampers, me ole foes. We meet again!) because I got the free times for the on-street parking wrong, that dimmed the inspirational surges for a time.

The scene of the clamping! My traumatised car is behind me

But I just did an about-face, figured my car wasn’t going anywhere and I went for food instead. And I found out you can’t be upset when you’re chomping down on a crunchy prawn cracker! 😀 )

So, what do you do without a laptop?

What does Latimer do without a laptop?

Latimer: I bet the saga of my kamikaze laptop has gotten old at this point! But this is just an insight into what I’ve been doing without one!

Well, first off time’s ticking by… the clock is running down, getting closer and closer to ‘MLR-day’ haha. We’ve been busy editing our book and what not. Editing using Ridley’s lovely laptop (I’m getting envious now! she’ll wake up one day and it’ll be gone, a Latimer shaped hole in her wall… me running across the green outside her house, screaming ‘my precious!’!!).

I’m due to get my new replacement soon (two weeks or so). So I’m getting jittery. 

My old hard-drive has gone completely mental and is shutting down the IT guy’s laptops… it’s gone kamikaze, it’s dying and it’s going to take everyone with it! Every time I get an update, it’s like the situation is getting more and more hopeless…

 Moving on from all that nastiness…

I’ve been unwinding in the meantime, doing some artwork… this is an insight into Latimer’s chillax time!

I decided to make my brother a birthday card (ha, and his birthday was in July! God… you see this is what happens when I have a laptop, other things fall by the wayside… yes, that includes the birthdays of loved ones!!).

He lives in Australia, so about all he’s going to get off me is a card, so I figured it better show I put some effort into it!! He’s a massive comic book fan, specifically batman, so I made him a Batman inspired card.

I edited and redrew some chibi’s I found (a Hermonie chibi, a Batman Chibi and a Catwoman chibi) and put them together to form a ‘Latimer’ card. I also finally used the other Japanese art-stuff I bought… cutting mat, cutting knife and Deleter high-lighter paint and brush. So, without a laptop to distract me, I had a chance to use the stuff..

The magical box where I keep my copic markers. It’s a biscuit box (from Bruges in Belgium). It’s a little creepy with that girls face on it!!
Latimer Potter

The idea is magical, Potter me, transforming my brother and his wife into Batman and Catwoman, so they can fight crime in Australia (haha)!

Brother as Batman
Wife as Catwoman
Putting the cover together
Brother and wife inside the card… and crazy me!!

It was fun putting it together… a job done you could say!! I gave myself a tick on my list of ‘outdated things that may never get done’… that’s a long list let me tell you… people get things off me years later, confused they go ‘what’s this for?!’ I will smile, ‘your birthday… last year…I’ll get you something next year for your birthday this year!!’.

Randomly, at the weekend, I also got it into my head that I would like to make a stop-motion model of myself and Ridley (after watching the making of Paranorman character ‘Norman’).

There’s more to it than I thought.. haha (stupid me of course there is!), rigs and stuff that are expensive… and to do it properly would take a lot of skill and time. Maybe in the future I’ll have a go, but for now, I settled for drawing what I would like the stop-motion model me and Ridley to look like… (maybe one day someone will make them for us!! I would go to Laika and say, ‘build us! build us!’)

Latimer and Ridley… as stop motion models!!

It’s random I know, but these are the things I think about! Things I get into my head. What would stop-motion me and Ridley look like? Can I make them? They would look great in the office… haha.

While I was doing all of this, I was listening to the Tell em Steve-Dave podcasts (staring Bryan Johnston, Walt Flanagan, Brian Quinn, Ming Chen and sometimes Mike Zapcic and the great, Sunday Jeff, who only works on sundays 🙂 ).

I love them! They are friends of the director and writer Kevin Smith (of Jay and Silent Bob- he’s Bob). The podcasts are part of the fantastic Smodcast network. Which since I’ve found it, I’m fascinated by it (I get obsessed very quickly)!! I love how Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier have built this empire; a new empire for a new age, the age of podcasting! It’s such a brilliant idea, but I love his thoughts on it.

Kevin is like, these are conversations I can have with all my friends, I can listen back to them, I can have them forever. It’s such a brilliant idea; and Kevin Smith is actually a very cool interesting guy (as are all his friends!).

I never realised this was all going on, I love finding new corridors in the hotel of life.

This video was made by an Irish fan of the Tell em Steve-Dave boys (and they were so in awe of it; so amazed and happy that someone would have made it for them for no reason other than he was a fan). He animated it all based on a conversation the guys had about Walt delivering comics to a guy that couldn’t come to the shop (Jay and Bob’s Secret Stash on Broad St, Red Bank, NJ- Walt is the manager and runs the shop which is owned by Kevin Smith).

The guys of Tell em Steve-Dave kept me company as I drew!

Well, without the laptop I’ve managed to draw some pictures and actually make my brother a birthday card, so it’s been good.

 But, God, hopefully I’ll have one soon 🙂