A New Breed of Dragon

Mind Controlled Prosthetics Now Reality

Scientists have developed a prosthetic that allows amputees to regain sensations from lost limbs.  Cybernetics – communication between machines and biological tissue – received widespread attention when the Empire Strikes Back hit the silver screen.  Luke Skywalker received a prosthetic hand...

4x dummer than I thunk

When Stupid Jack declares: “Mummy you is 4x dummer than I thunk you was,” my children can’t help but to laugh.  The line comes from Willy Claflin’s Stupid Jack & the Beanstalk story right after his mother scolds him for...

Glaurung – Now the Coolest Dragon Ever

Often, depictions of fantasy dragons are a huge disappointment.  Words like “cheesy,” “trite,” “overdone,” and “disappointing” often come to mind when I look at dragon art (which is not all that uncommon).  That day may be over soon.  Enter: Eric...

Sci-fi Fans Demand More Linguists

Increasingly savvy movie goers are demanding that Hollywood learn an important lesson: we can tell when your aliens are using bad grammar!  Really?  Scoff all you want but it’s true and sci-fi/fantasy authors ought to take note because fans are starting...

Discovering Real Dragons

  Most mythological creatures have very interesting real life counterparts, whether they be cyclops, unicorns, giants, or anything else.  I’ve seen a number of real “dragons” in my life: winged lizards from Borneo, 1,000 pound alligators, komodo dragons, uber cool and supposedly...

Guilty Verdict Using Only Brain Waves?

  Verdict: Guilty by reason of brain waves.  Sound implausible?  Not for long.  Science Daily reports that preliminary data from the Association for Psychological Science is hoping to keep us from ever lying again … well, at least they are hoping...

Unearthing Dragon Skeletons

Personally, I think great fantasy art has spurred more story ideas in me than anything else.  This particular image really caught my imagination (send me a link if you know where it came from – I can’t find it again)....

River of Five Colors

  Looking for inspiration for an especially exotic destination?  I’ve frequently said that sci-fi/fantasy authors need look no further than our own beautiful planet to find inspiration for unbelievable locations custom fit for any work of fiction.  Take Cano Cristales...

Mischievous Word Smithery Encouraged

I once read that a word smith is a creature to be feared above all others.  I suppose there is a good deal of historical precedent to support that assertion – just consider Thomas Paine’s Common Sense if you can’t...

Jon Jandai – Life is Easy

Sometimes it is easy for sci-fi/fantasy authors to write about exotic people without really understanding different cultures of their own world.  They write about primitive people who are superstitious and usually … well, inept.  I ran across this video by...

Golden Axe Art – Hail Wesley Burt

Today’s featured artwork comes from Wesley Burt … at least, I think it does.  I’m not usually one to like barbarian art but this one caught my attention.  This “beast rider” image has a great sense of depth, an interesting...

10% Brain Myth

For a brilliant moment, the movie Lucy was gathering an enormous amount of attention. Since I’ve been researching topics surrounding transhumanism, it caught my eye as well. I saw several discussions about the 10% brain myth but I liked this...

Word Crimes by Weird Al

Like most authors, I follow blogs and people who are interested in the technical faux pas that grammar police love to impose upon persons of lesser educated-ness.  Too bad … they don’t teach as well as Weird Al:

Dagon & H.P. Lovecraft

I confess: until today, I’d never read anything by H.P. Lovecraft.  Frankly, the “horror” label combined with its awful, original illustrations have kept me at bay for many years.  However, at FantasyCon 2014, his name popped up so many times...

Einstein as Fantasy Fan

  At FantasyCon, I heard a quote from Einstein that every fantasy author should know: “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than...

All Hail Eric Velhagen!

    This post was originally posted a couple/few weeks ago – but my server decided to make my life miserable and to delete it and some other updates.  If you already saw this post on goodreads, there is nothing...

FantasyCon 2014 a Blast

  Where else can you find a Borimir-esque cosplay changing a baby’s diaper on a changing table while talking on a cell phone?  These bizarre things only happen at the world’s best cons! As promised, I’m writing a little on...

High Goodreads Rating for Moon 514!

So far, reviews and ratings for Moon 514: Blaze and the White Griffon on Goodreads has been very positive – a 4.91 average after only a few weeks! Add Moon 514: Blaze and the White Griffon to your reading list...

Bad Memories are Good

Although he is one of my least favorite philosophers and although he has been credited with greatly influencing Hitler’s philosophies that led to the second world war, I have to admit that some of Nietzsche’s teachings are humorous and thought...

Unlikely Allies

  Finding pictures of unlikely animal friendships has become unfathomably trendy lately.  While I generally find these pictures of interest, this one particularly caught my eye.  How did the baby elephant end up on a broken log overhanging a river?...

Begin it Now – Goethe

Today’s inspiration comes from Goethe and deservedly ranks as one of the best inspirational quotes of all time.  It is so well stated that I have little to add to it today: Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to...

Unorthodox Spells & Drunken Dragons

One of the things that regularly grabs my attention when reading fantasy books/magazines/articles/pitches/short stories is the utter lack of creativity that I see from magicians/wizards/mages/witches when casting spells.  Okay, I admit, when I played D&D as a kid, fireballs were...

Shark Skin Swim Suits?

Alright Sci-Fi fans – here is another reason to be excited about the future: shark skin swim suits! 3D printing has now replicated shark skins – a feat that scientists have failed to accomplish for many years now.  Thanks to...

Moon 514 Reviews

Moon 514 is getting raving reviews! Check out the hilarious video review and then read on for the serious critiques: These are abbreviated reviews. To see the full reviews, visit Amazon.com. 5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative, Engaging & Fast-Paced,...

Lost Heroism?

I have tons of dragon pictures.  I also have a number of friends who would be embarrassed on my behalf to learn that I admitted that in a public forum!  Among that large compilation of pictures, I find myself wondering...

Moon 514 is Published – FREE Chapter!

Moon 514 has a final cover (thanks to Grant M. Hansen) and is available on Amazon.com.  Now, if only B&N didn’t convert a perfectly formatted epub file into their own, messed up epub file, I’d have it available to sell...

Slice Published – Free Excerpt

Today, I’m offering a brief excerpt from my new short story: Slice, which is being released on Amazon, B&N, and ibook in the next day or two:   Tzun quickly rounded the corner, discretely dropping the wallet he’d just lifted...

Madness

Every once in a while, a great storyteller comes up with a fresh approach to a character.   As I think back to some of the most refreshing and unique characters I’ve read about or watched onscreen, one character really...

Moon 514 Excerpt

Today’s prose is a scene featuring the white griffon of Moon 514: The beast tentatively pawed the ground somewhat like a bull taunted by a puny matador that wasn’t really worth the effort.  Soon, the taps became tears in the...

Underwater Waterfalls

Mauritius Island boasts one of the very few and indisputably breathtaking underwater waterfalls in our world.  One glance is all it takes to see why. I’ve looked it up on a number of sights because they call the waterfall an...

African Red Mud Hair

One of my favorite roommates in college was a guy named George. As I recall, his mother was Irish and his father was Kenyan – an interesting mix for sure – and he was from Hawaii.  There are a few...

Well Borrowed is Well Composed

One of my lease favorite composers (Arnold Schoenberg) penned these words: “Well borrowed is well composed.” He is indisputably right.  Modern viewers almost undoubtedly prefer the Matrix to Plato’s Cave despite the fact that Plato came along much earlier than...

Universal Languages

Years ago, I toured China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines with BYU’s Wind Symphony.  Unlikely enough, I was featured playing a solo on a tenor saxophone. While touring, my favorite part of each performance was when the rhythm section...

Crazy Trees

I often think that Asians are very lucky.  I spent a month in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines several years ago.  It was the opportunity of a lifetime but it forever made me jealous of their land.  They...

Out of Africa Wildlife Park

I’ll never forget the fateful day I went to the Out of Africa Wildlife Park – twenty years ago. Between the inspirational stories, the albino baby tigers, the baby lion that wouldn’t stop biting the sore bottom of a surprisingly...

Pachyderm Darwin Awards

Hmmm… Is this a photoshop job or not? The headlines are flooding in: Thirsty Baby Elephant Drowns Self Elephant Banned From Beach After Failing to Keep Its Trunk  Up This Year’s Darwin Award Goes to …   The image comes...

Fallen Dragon

Although I don’t find the dragon armor or the dragon visage particularly inspiring, I thought I would share this image because it does a fabulous job of instantaneously conjuring up a story.  After all, what creatively inclined kid doesn’t dream...

Unified Weapons Master

I’m an avowed UFC fan.  Most of my friends find that revelation quite shocking but despite my very real fandom, I’ve been somewhat annoyed over some developments in the MMA community.  A growing number of fans are beginning to believe...

Red Angel

If you google angel art (or shortcut and go straight to DeviantArt.com), you’ll run across tons of angel artwork spanning from the bloody awful to the doldrumous ordinary to the exquisitely inspiring.  Today’s inspiration comes from a relatively new and...

Twinkle & Icingdeath Weaponry

There are lots of fantasy swords out there. Many of them are so over the top that it is difficult to find them very inspiring. Others are cool looking but upon closer inspection, you have to feel a little disappointed....

Steampunk

Steampunk

Author communities often ask questions like: where do you come up with cool names? cool world-building ideas? magic systems? and clothing? To the latter question, one must at least offer an honorable mention to steampunk. Looking for an interesting Alice...

Fear of the Unknown

I woke up grumpy today so today’s authorial inspiration comes from H.P. Lovecraft, one of the great masters of scary fiction: The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear...

Willy Claflin

I perform nearly every year at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival in Orem, Utah. While everyone has their favorite teller for various reasons (comedic, historical, lovable, liar-able, etc.), I have yet to find a young child who didn’t love Willy Claflin...

Prose – Moon 514

Today, prose from a portion of the scene behind the cover of Moon 514: Dense wisps of fog slowly encircled the magic woman, sensually caressing her body as if petting a purring kitten.  Crawling on all fours, she seemed to...

Pregnant Women

I was reminded the other day of something my son said to my wife when he was very young.  She was looking and feeling very pregnant and had been teaching our children about the importance of eating healthy foods and...

Uber-Villain

Bad guys are a dime a dozen but something about this illustration whisks my imagination away to discover an uber-villain beyond comparison.  Noseless – perhaps only because the stench of Hades is so strong – this uber-villain doesn’t really need...

Character Sketch: Moon 514 – Blaze

Blaze grew up inside the Order studying under the legendary Master Xun (nicknamed Master Kitana because of his obsession with swords).  As a child in the Order, Blaze was assigned at an early age to study every significant, historical form...

the Aim of Discussion

The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress. Joseph Joubert 1754-1824 I’ve been helping a client deal with a problem off and on for about ten years now. It seems like every time we come...

Writing Resources – the Great Courses

In Asia, if you have a great product, you are very likely to be successful in selling your product – word of mouth and reviews is everything. In the U.S., advertising is the true king for large businesses – I...

Orson Scott Card’s Weasel

Another piece of prose from Orson Scott Card’s Seventh Son: Although the Seventh Son did not rank among one of my favorite books of all time, there were several places in the book where his really down to earth, organic,...

World’s Worst Similes

Over two decades ago, I came across some similes that ignited my imagination – not because they were particularly poetic or because they were particularly profound … they ignited my imagination because they are particularly creative in their use of...

Sinkholes

I found this Guatemalan sinkhole image on a site that seemed to suggest that it came from the Associated Press. Here is another one from New Zealand: Given the immediate drama of these photographs, it surprises me that sinkholes have...

Blood Falls, Antartica

Any aspiring fantasy author ought to have one of those “Wonders of the World” type books to look to for inspirational settings for their stories – whether they take place on earth or some other place.  There are enough truly...

Tact

I once sat in an arbitration hearing where an unrepresented party was grumpily babbling over a number of trivial irrelevancies that were wearing on my nerves. This particular instance left me wishing that there was something I could do to...

Shakespeare Slams

In modern film, we usually find very bland, direct slams and insults.  Occasionally, a marginally subtle and humorous attack is aimed towards a dense character who fails to understand the biting remark but rare are the times when ad hominem...

Moon 514: the Magic Woman

Every once in a while, I come across an idea or image that seems to write a story for me. The above image is one of those images. Some time ago, I was pondering over the success of the Star...

Story Juggling by Drew

Years ago, I began a lifelong juggling addiction (although I’m too stubborn to join any 12 step program to help me stop). In 2000 or perhaps a little earlier, I began to tell stories while juggling. To my knowledge, I’m...

Duh … Reading Makes You Smarter

I subscribe to David Farland’s blog “A Kick in the Pants.”  It is dedicated to helping aspiring writers hone their writing skills but I read his articles for ulterior motives: occasionally, he cites interesting studies about reading and writing and...

Moon 514 – the Magic Woman

In keeping with my last post (about refined and beautiful things), here is one of several gestures from Grant M. Hansen who is painting the cover for my upcoming book Moon 514: Blaze and the White Griffon. Here are some...

Refined & Beautiful Things

I’m obsessed with beautiful things. I’m currently listening to my “inspiring” playlist on itunes. I own a butterfly store. I collect beautiful images for my screensaver and I have beautiful sculptures, feathers, shells, and various forms of art all over...