Ghost in the Shell returning

ghost_in_the_shell_motoko_kusanagi-t2 broke a story today through Facebook about a new Ghost in the Shell series starting on July 23, 2013. It is set in the past, before the events in the first two television shows. The technology will be more crude, with her and Batto communicating verbally instead of inside their heads. And the Chief won’t have pointed gray hair!!

I’m not sure how I feel about this especially with Spielberg wanting to make a live action version. Will the remove the angst that made the Major in the later movies and series’? I kind of hope they do because I for one didn’t like the way they sent the character. They create a kick ass woman warrior and then make her have more drama than a high school student?? That’s not a good recipe for success in my opinion.

I’m willing to give it a chance and see where it goes.

Today’s snippet





Crios entered the bar and wished she could turn around and walk out. The fog-like cloud of cigarette smoke turned the patrons into murky outlines. A large bar ran the length of the left wall, as customers sat around various tables while loud music played.

This is fun.

The rotten stench of stale tobacco and alcohol made her stomach protest as she wrinkled her nose. She loved a good bar because you could always find someone to take home when desired. This one, however, would be far, far down her list of pick up places and if they didn’t suspect Dragus involvement, she wouldn’t touch the establishment with a ten foot pole.

One thing for sure, it wouldn’t be hard to find someone in money trouble, or just plain greedy, which was one of her favorite tricks. When a person was behind, then they’d do anything to pay back the debt. The only problem would be finding the exact person, or persons, that were the best targets.

She approached the bar and sat down as the bartender walked up. His mouth was missing several teeth as he smiled and shot her a sleazy look. The man didn’t even try to hide that he was checking her out and she looked at his greasy, unwashed black hair and resisted the sudden urge to puke.


“What will you have, sweetie pie,”

She shot him a “did you really just say that to me?” look. “Double shot of scotch, little boy,”

“That’s a lot of booze for a lady like you. Sure you can handle it?”

She leaned forwards and then placed her elbows on the bar. “I’ve drunk stronger,”

He handed her a glass. “If you’re here, then you can’t be a fifty pound weakling.”

“Good, I’d hate to have to regale you with stories about combat,”

“You’re too pretty to be a marine. Mercenary?”

“Of a sort…”

“Tough girl, eh?”

“The worst you’ll ever see,”

“I’ve seen a lot,”

“Trust me, you haven’t seen the likes of me,”

“Well, just let me know if you need anything,” he winked before walking away.

The warrior looked at the man’s back and then chuckled under her breath. Was that supposed to be the best pick up line he had? Eighty grit sandpaper was smoother than that! Poor guy. She’d heard everyone that could possibly be created over the years anyway.

She sipped at the whiskey and struggled to keep a sour expression off her face. Anyone who called this crap a drink needed their heads examined. There were cleaning solvents that tasted better and didn’t cost as much!

What did she expect though from a dive such as this?  No matter where a traveler went, the sleazy places criminals frequented never changed. They were all filled with cheap booze and easy women. One could literally exchange the races involved and things wouldn’t change one iota.

I wonder how long it’ll take for someone to decide to talk to me.

A man sat down next to her and she didn’t look up from her drink. Well, that didn’t take long. Since the other women weren’t as pretty, he probably had sex on the brain. Too bad for him that wasn’t what she came for. Besides, she thought wryly, no human or Gahl man can resist an attractive woman.

“I haven’t seen you before. Where’d ya come from?”

Really?? That’s the best pick up line you can come up with? Sad!

She continued to sip at the drink, while letting her body language show disinterest. “A long ways from here,”

“I like your accent. Are you from Brownsville or Galveston?”

I wonder what he’d say if I told him the truth?

“I’m a twenty thousand year old alien warrior from a planet several thousand parsecs away.”

“That’s funny! Seriously, where you from, sweetie?”

She smiled slightly. “In the neighborhood,”

“I thought I recognized that accent! What brings you to Selkirk? You’re seriously slumming!”

“Slumming, eh?”

“That’s what I said.”

She downed the whiskey and motioned for another. “You been in combat, son?”

“Me? Combat? Hell no! I’m only interesting in making a credit.”

“Well, I’ve seen more than my share, so this ain’t ‘slumming’ after the hellholes I’ve seen,”

By taliasworld Posted in Writing

Lazy Writers And Their Writing



anime_girl_elf[1]One thing I’ve started to see in some series’, which one author shall remain nameless is very guilty of doing, is the writer spending 1/3 to 1/2 of each book recapping the events that happened before. Why? Do you feel that people need to be caught up that much? Each series novel so, ideally, be able to stand alone. I’ve written two, and started on a third, novels with Talia and her sisters and each of them are complete stand alone books. They’re tied together by references to events that happened earlier and personality responses to them, but the first books aren’t necessary to be able to enjoy the series.  This is how we as writers should write books.

A friend of mine finished the last book of a trilogy from a very well known science fiction and fantasy author and she had a major complaint about the last book. “It took forever to get to the action.” So I asked her: “Did XXXX spend the first third to a half of the book recapping the things that already happened?” Her answer was “Yes.” So, in my opinion, she got ripped off from the $9.00 charged for a trade paperback. What makes things worse is this happens in another popular series that comes out in hardcover first, which means people are paying 25-27 dollars for a book and only getting half a book of new writing.

If we as writers want to start seeing our paychecks drop, then start to make the reader feel ripped off. They spend their hard earned discretionary money on our work, so we owe it to them to make sure they get their money’s worth. Besides, writing is like any other customer service based business: the reader pays our paychecks.

Keep that in mind when writing your next short story or novel.

Ripping Artists off Part 2

This is a post from my friends blog. I agree with her wholeheartedly and now understand why the musicians had such a problem with Limewire and Napster. It costs us money to produce our product (in my case paper and ink cartridges to do hard copy edits) for you to buy. It’s not asking too much to be able to cover our expenses with a small profit. Hopefully other artists will stand up like Bonefish Designs out of Charlottesville, Va. has done. 


An Artist’s Gotta Eat

Hello, Dear Readers~

I’m so sorry there’s been such a delay between my last post and this one. I’ve been exceedingly busy, not just with my art but with life in general. Recent events though, have prompted me to write a new blog (not that I haven’t attempted to write several only to trash them).

Recently, I shot a lovely couple and their grandkid. It was one of those impromptu things, I just happened to have my camera and it was a special moment. They asked me to have prints made, and that they would pay me.

I was more than happy to oblige. It’s been a long time since I’ve used photography to create art and not just as a tool towards the end product.

I wanted to impress them, not just give them a CD with a bunch of photos on it. By the time I turned over the photos, they got:

1 photo book
4 8 x 10″ enlarged prints
25 4 x 6″ prints
1 CD containing all the photos

This cost me $50 even to produce. When time came to pay up, they didn’t want to. Said it was “too much” money, that it was “extravagant”, and they had no idea I would “spend so much”.

First of all, $50 USD for all of the above is NOT A BAD DEAL!!! Second of all, having not had the opportunity to shoot people since I converted to a DSLR last year, I wasn’t going to charge them an exorbitant amount. I figured they’d get some great keepsakes and I’d get some valuable experience. Boy, was I wrong.

To put it in perspective, typically when I do commissioned work, it breaks down like this:

hourly rate ($$$/hr) x amount of hours worked + cost of materials + shipping/handling OR delivery (gas)

Had they gone to a so-called “professional” photographer, they could easily spend $300+. Had I wanted to, I could’ve charged them my usual commission rate and they threw a fit because all I wanted was reimbursement for the cost of actually printing their photos.

Saying I was livid is an understatement. I was also incredibly angry and indignant. It’s also incredibly frustrating when people think that an artist’s work is “only” worth x-amount.

When you commission me, regardless of whether it’s for a painting, jewelry, photography, WHATEVER, you are contributing to my ability to keep producing art, you are helping me pay my bills, you are ensuring that my degree- which cost me thousands of dollars and many years of my life- is put to use and it’s an insult to me, my hard work, and my craft that you would think $50, JUST the cost of materials is “too extravagant”.

In the course of my career as an artist I have bled for my work (stitches, twice), I’ve burned and blistered myself for my work, I’ve broken nails, singed hair, I’ve broken equipment and had to replace it, I’ve gotten sunburned and rained on, I’ve gone days without sleep, been exposed to harmful chemicals and materials, I’ve sacrificed so much that you thinking I’m asking “too much” is an insult to all the work I put into your commission that I did NOT charge you for.

Every commission I take on and complete puts me one step closer to being able to live on an artistic career, not just a weekend hobby. It puts me closer to achieving my dreams. If you’re going to commission an artist you need to understand that you are contributing to our livelihood and understand just WHY something is so “expensive”.

Also, don’t forget, when you’re commissioning an artist, you are also paying for a one of a kind creation. You can’t just go to Wal*Mart and find something comparable.

Eventually, they did pay up. I had to threaten legal action. Unfortunately, this experience has prompted me to change how I do my commissions. How so, you ask? I don’t make the same mistake twice.

Should you seek to commission me:

  1. you WILL sign a contract. 
  2. It WILL be notarized. 
  3. You WILL pay half of the commission up front. 
  4. If I’m mailing it to you, you WILL pay in full, up front. 
  5. If you live locally and are going to pick it up or have me deliver it in person, you WILL pay the other half of the commission upon delivery. 
  6. If you do not pay, I WILL keep the commission for 7 days and you have 7 days to pay up. 
  7. Should you fail to pay up, your commission will go up for sale on my website. 
  8. I will keep the half you already paid. 
I hate that it’s come to this but I cannot afford the run around I have experienced. I’m trying to run a business so you’re commissioning of me will be treated as the business transaction that it is, regardless of means/income or relationship to me. 
I know the above image pertains specifically to jewelry but it’s true of any commission.