Saturday, March 31, 2012

Achievement! Short Story wins Honorable Mention

Writer's Journal has been doing contests on short stories for four years or more (I only found till 2008 on the link I will soon post). Even so, Writer's Journal has been around for a long long time (according to back issues, 32 years!) and I hear they've always done these contests, respected amongst the writing community.

Sadly, Writer's Journal went out of business after doing the judging on the last contest that I had entered. So it's lucky for me that they did that. I won't get to see my story in a magazine (yet), but it's pretty awesome get the win I did. No small feat people! You can learn more about the mag's situation HERE.

Here is a link to the Winner's List so long as it will be there: LINK

Here is a screenshot for when it's not there anymore. And a huge congrats to all the other winners too!

As my main pic suggests, the story that won honorable mention is about the Gator, one of my Galaxy Zento Characters. It's the story of his origin. I'm not posting that story yet because we are considering the possibility of trying again to get it into magazine status. As you can imagine, no magazine will take it if it is published elsewhere.

This is a great accomplishment for my writing and for Galaxy Zento. For those who aren't following yet, I hope you will and here are all the links for the project.
This will keep growing and you can witness that for yourself! Great thanks for all of you who have clicked LIKE on the facebook page or are following this blog or twitter!

I'm going to close this with my two latest additions, Youtube videos about the characters and if you haven't seen them yet, I hope you enjoy them!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Firing up the Wiki!

I'm taking the advice of a few other internet pros and using a wiki for the character profiles instead of a full website. While doing a big website would be awesome, it's just not financially available right now.

Honestly, all the marketing and anti-marketing that goes on between hosting companies doesn't make it any easier, but that's for another discussion.

At Wikia, you will find the Galaxy Zento Wiki! On this wiki you will find the pics you've seen so far along with brand new full character bios. Now you can learn all about the characters you've seen. This blog will still contain information too. Short stories will be posted on occassion as time allows. Currently, I'm up to my eyeballs in projects. The front burner projects are:

Chessmen book 2
Wikia profile pages

Everything else I do has to be worked into the schedule from there. Of course, new illustrations will be posted at DeviantArt (where you can purchase magnets, postcards, and more of any art you like), Facebook, and EVERYTHING gets noted at the Facebook fanpage. Hey, that's enough cross-reference to knock out a politician!

So far I have over 20 profiles up to enjoy and comment on. Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Showcase: Becoming Osiris!

Rubber wheels rolled across uneven pavement as Marvin Hauck pushed the rims of his wheelchair.  It was a backwoods little town, lost in Kentucky where few knew of it. The sidewalks were cracked and sprouting weeds. All the streets were little more than dirt and crumbling asphalt. Marvin grew up in that little town, and that wasn’t an easy thing to do. 

Every day, Marvin made a trek to the small diner where the most beautiful girl he ever saw would serve him coffee and a sandwich.  Today was special, today he carried a gift. Today he would have the guts he never had before.

He pushed his way through the heavy front door of the diner. Its rusted hinges squealed in protest as always. Lori looked up from a newspaper with a smile.

                “Hey!” she pushed back her red hair with one hand, “There you are. I have your coffee ready. You want a ham sandwich today?”

                “Sounds great,” Marvin said as he rolled up to his usual table. 

                “Oh look,” an irritating voice floated from across the room, “it’s wheelie boy.” 

                “Shut up, Kenny,” Lori retorted.

                Kenny and his two friends laughed. They had been a source of torment for Marvin since elementary school. Kenny’s two friends made for a strange trio of bullies. The skinnier one than Kenny had only two large teeth in the front of his mouth, so they called him Tooth. The bigger one than Kenny was Kegger. Whenever the trio went drinking, Kegger always carried the keg. Kenny was the brains of the crew and that still didn’t say much for him. They often ran afoul of the law, but seldom did anything come of it. Kenny could what he wanted since his father was the Sheriff. 

                Marvin hated their leering faces that sometimes haunted him in his sleep. He couldn’t count how many bruises and abrasions they had given him. He couldn’t count how many times he had to struggle back into his chair after they dumped him out of it. 

                Marvin struggled to push the trio out of his mind as Lori came up with his sandwich and coffee. He looked up to her and smiled.

                “I brought you something,” he almost stammered, but held it together. 

                “Really?” Lori almost blushed at the thought, “Well, what is it?”

                Marvin pulled the small box out of his backpack that he kept on his chair. He opened the little box and showed her its contents. Lori gasped as she took the box and lifted out the jeweled heart pendent.

                “Marvin, that’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” she kissed Marvin’s forehead, “I’m going to go try it on in the mirror. I’ll be right back.”

                That kiss was the most awesome thing Marvin had ever felt. He was lost in the thought, dazed, but then it was shattered.

                “What do you think you’re doing?” Kenny now stood over him with a hateful scowl. The punch came out of nowhere and rolled Marvin backwards. “That’s my girl, retard.”

                Another punch, and then another hit him. Lori’s scream stopped the assault.

                “Kenny! You monster! Get out!” Lori ran to Marvin. “Oh my God, let me help you.”

                “No, no, I have to go, please, I’ll see you later.” Escape was the only thing on Marvin’s mind and he went as fast as he could down the street to get home.

                Amazingly, Kenny and his crew didn’t stop get in the way. Kenny was too busy trying to sugar talk Lori into forgiving the bad behavior.  Marvin could hear her shouting at them from blocks away. Years of their abuse flooded back to him as he rolled into home. He washed the blood off his face and looked in his mirror. 

                “No more.” He said to himself. “No more.”

                Marvin lived alone, his mother and father were long gone. The only thing he had left of his father was the twelve gauge shotgun in the closet. He knew a little about shooting a gun, but he hardly had any skill. Still, he grabbed the gun, loaded shells, and headed back out. He made way down the street with rage and purpose. He almost didn’t see Kenny’s truck as it pulled up in front of him two blocks from the diner.

                Marvin struggled to pull up the shotgun from his lap as the trio got out of the truck. The stock of the weapon got stuck in the arm bars. Kenny grabbed it away before he could do anything about it.

                “Wow, lookit here! Marvin’s got a shotgun. How about you step into my office, wheelie boy,” Kenny stepped into the alley they happened to be in front of.  Kegger grabbed the handles of Marvin’s wheel chair and shoved him in behind Kenny.  Tooth followed with a sledgehammer.

                The alley was a dead end with a dumpster and a few trash cans. Garbage littered the ground in the form of beer cans, bottles, paper and leaves. 

                “I have to hand it to you, wheelie, this is a nice gun,” Kenny said, “I’ll be taking good care of it, don’t you worry. But, I get the feeling you planned on shooting me with it. Are you that stupid, retard?”

                “I’ve had enough of you. You’re nothing but a tormenting monster. You won’t do Lori any good. Heck, you’ll just smack her around,” Marvin said through gritted teeth. The back of Kenny’s hand stung across his face.

                “Wow, you really are stupid,” Kenny’s friends laughed and repeated the word stupid like a couple of parrots. “You aren’t getting out of this one. I have to teach you a lesson.”

                The first blow of the sledgehammer was to the mid-section. Marvin couldn’t scream if he wanted to. The next broke one of his useless legs, then a hit landed on a shoulder. After that, Marvin couldn’t hear their laughter anymore and a blow broke his jaw in three places. Even after he was thrown to the ground the beating continued. Blood spattered the ground, surged from his mouth and a rib punctured a lung. When it finally stopped, Kenny turned to the wheelchair and exacted his vengeance on it. Kenny smashed the chair beyond use or repair. Marvin didn’t hear them leave him to die.

                All Marvin could see at first was his own blood covered hand. He moved his fingers slightly and coughed. He knew he needed to call for help, but it was getting dark and he couldn’t make a noise. No one would see his body until morning. He thought of Lori, the girl he would never have and cursed himself for being stupid. 

                The night was still and hot and Marvin didn’t know why he found the sudden cool breeze odd, but he did. First a leaf and some paper started to blow around in a small eddy, then the wind rose. A tin can clattered by and a bottle rolled noisily under the dumpster.  At first it was dim and he thought it a trick of his dying mind. Then the blue light grew brighter as the wind rose to a deafening torrent. Trash cans fell over. Marvin struggled to lift his head and see what made the light. As he saw the floating blue pyramid spinning in the air, lighting flashed through the alley. The wind now threw trash clear out of the alley and something lifted Marvin’s body into the air. 

                Whatever had him in front of the pyramid now grasped his body like giant invisible hands. The moved him as if handling a broken toy. Bones snapped back into place and the rib was pulled from his lung. The pyramid pulsated blue light and then a bright beam blinded him. Now the true changing began. His arms grew and legs lengthened. Sinew of muscle formed across his body and stripped his bloody clothing away. For what seemed and eternity, his body bathed in the blinding blue light.

                As the light faded, something set him slowly to his feet, almost gently. Marvin felt himself gasp as if breathing for the first time ever and he dropped to one knee.  With awe and shock he stared at his new large hands and couldn’t believe what he had become.

                Back in front of the diner, Kenny and his friends waited for Lori to come out. They stood on the sidewalk with special plans for Lori. Kenny wanted her to understand who she belonged to once and for all. The sudden crash and spraying of glass sent all three of them sprawling to the ground.  Kenny leapt to his feet and stared in shock at the windshield of his truck and the destroyed cab and hood. There, embedded in the midst of it all, was a wrecked wheelchair. 

                The sound of heavy and deliberate footsteps caused them all to turn and gaze down the street.  What they saw was Marvin Hauck, and yet it wasn’t. He now stood over six feet tall, broad shouldered and with emerald green skin. Where skin couldn’t be seen was covered in an Egyptian armor of green and gold. On the front of his headdress a golden ankh was mounted and it had an eerie glow.  He continued to move toward them.

                Kegger grabbed the shotgun out of the back of the truck and fired three times before he ran out of shells. Not one of the shots fazed the new Marvin at all. Marvin strode up and backhanded Kegger much like Kenny had done to him. The other two stared in horror as Kegger’s body landed across the street in a shop window. Marvin stared hard at Kenny as he reached out a fist and hit Tooth in the face. Then Marvin reached out, and closed a great hand around Kenny’s neck, lifting him from the ground.  He couldn’t believe the satisfaction he felt at the sight of Kenny’s terrified face.

                “Um, excuse us, but you probably don’t want to do that,” a voice came from behind him.

                Marvin turned in surprise to see two who were dressed similar to him.

                “Hey there, I know you must be really confused, but we’re here to help, really.” Said the one with the head of a hawk.

                “Who are you?” Marvin dropped Kenny who pressed against the wall of the diner, hoping not to be noticed again.

                “I’m Horus and my dog-faced friend is Anubis,” Horus gestured a thumb at Anubis.

                “Oh, even you with the dog jokes, bird brains,” Anubis said.

                Marvin stared from one to the other more confused than ever.

                “You’ve been chosen, and not for revenge,” Anubis continued.

                “Then for what?”

                “A new purpose. It looks like the Powermid chose you to become Osiris,” Horus offered.

                “I don’t understand any of this.”

                “We know. That’s why we want you to come with us. We’ll help you,” Anubis said. “We were chosen, just like you.”

                Before Marvin, now Osiris, left with them, Anubis walked over to Kenny and leaned over him with eyes glowing.

                “Would you like to see us come back?” Anubis gave a toothy smile.

                Kenny shook his head as tears flowed down his face.

                “Then you better find a way to never hurt another living thing again, or we will.”

                As the left in a cosmic ray of light, Marvin saw Lori watching from a window. He waved, but knew that now his life was taking a direction into a greater unknown.