Friday, November 22, 2013

Final Announcement

This blog, pen name, and all associated stories have either been discontinued or forfeited (if that wasn't already obvious). Whiskey Tea Cafe and Autumn Lotus can be found reposted on Wattpad and FictionPress under my new pen name, but I don't plan on writing any new chapters for either story. All posts on this blog will stay up, however.

I've moved into fan fiction and fan art territory the past year, and I don't intend to work on any original material until I improve as both a writer and an artist. A lot of my new stuff contains mature content, but you can find me at the following places:

As "Orifiel-M" (Fan Media)

As "Makani Blancarte" (Original Works)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Star Feature: My Sister

My sister Tiffany has been pestering me for her star here it is.

(Earlier on Google Chat...)

Tiffany: Whatcha doin'?

Me: ...Finally working on your blog post. Ugh.

Tiffany: Don't sound so miserable doing it! >:(

Me: >:(

...It all started when I made the mistake of mentioning to Tiffany that I was planning on writing a blog post about her and illustrating bird pictures of our lives as siblings.

This was several months ago, before I got bogged down with a staggeringly long to-do list...which, admittedly, may have been the result of indolent procrastination on my part. So when I told Tiffany I had to keep pushing back her featured post, she communicated her displeasure in the most dramatic way possible.

My sister isn't a spotlight-seeker per se, but once you blurt voice any intention of casting her as the star of anything, she will clamp onto that verbalization and hold you to it until you make it happen.

So after receiving a collection of text messages bearing different variations of, "WHERE'S THE BLOG POST ABOUT ME THAT YOU PROMISED TO WRITE?? I WON'T ACKNOWLEDGE YOU AS A SIBLING UNTIL I SEE IT!"...I decided it's probably time to follow through with the promise I barely remember making.

To start off, a bit of information. Tiffany is four years younger than I am, and she was born during the peak of my childhood fat years (God, was I a porker). Up to that point, I had been a pampered (and very well-fed) only child, so learning of my mother's pregnancy was most unwelcome news.

For a single young child that had been lovingly spoiled by both parents for over three years, the prospect of engaging in sibling activities (such as sharing) was highly unappealing. Unfortunately for me, fetuses have a tendency to enter the birthing process no matter how much their older siblings hope they stay put in utero. And so in the summer of 1992, my mom went into labor at an ungodly hour of the morning.

My dad rushed my mom to the hospital, and I was left behind with my grandma. The sequence of events was very confusing to a 4-year-old kid because I had woken up to find that it was still dark outside, both my parents were in a panic, they then left the apartment at the same time, and no one had even fed me yet.

I was convinced they had abandoned me.

My grandma held down the fort and comforted me enough so that I didn't develop PTSD while my parents welcomed my sister into the world. A couple of days later, they brought her home to meet me.

I didn't realize it at the time, but Tiffany was pretty much the cutest baby ever. Even though she rarely smiled.

And being the jealous brat that I was, I put up a lot of resistance in approaching her.

I reluctantly padded over to her as she sat there on the floor and dribbled up at me. While the adults obliviously moved to another room to give me some bonding time with my new sibling, I decided to issue a greeting that wasn't exactly benevolent.

...I tried to smother my own sister with a pillow. If that doesn't win the Most Heinous Sibling Award, I don't know what would. I honestly don't remember doing this (my mom told me about it when I was at an age where I could comprehend guilt), so I'm not certain whether I was purposely trying to eliminate Tiffany or just trying to hide her under an oversized pillow and hope she'd disappear like a magic trick.

Either way, my intentions were pretty horrifying, so it was a good thing my grandma's intuition kicked in and told her that something was wrong. She sent my mom to check up on my sister and me.

And this is what she found.

To be continued...

Update [1/20/13]: I'd forgotten I had the second part already illustrated and partly written, so I'm just going to lump it with this post.

Picking up where we left off...

Right after I smushed my infant sister with a pillow, my mom walked in.

She freaked out.

And kicked my ass.

So after I got the spanking of a lifetime and was sentenced to three hours in the timeout corner without parole, I grew even more bitter about Tiffany's existence.

While most normal children would associate punishment with the act of smothering their defenseless siblings, I instead associated punishment with getting caught.

As far as my 4-year-old tubby butt was concerned, Tiffany was an intruder to my comfortable family environment. If I was going to have to compete with her for parental attention, she was going to be as miserable as I was.

And so, over the next several years, I terrorized my sister mercilessly.

Throughout her ordeal of having to put up with me, Tiffany maintained a surprisingly sweet demeanor. She did try to fight back a couple of times (which never got her very far), but she was overall a very loving and forgiving kid. It was very surprising. And kind of ridiculous.

Note [1/20/13]: This post was never finished, so the happy ending is that Tiffany and I grew up to become best friends. Even though she'll never let me forget the Dark Age known as our childhood. It's all good. The end.

Friday, September 30, 2011

[Character Spotlight] #2: Avery Fawns

The leading lady of Whiskey Tea Cafe is the 19-year-old singer and guitarist of the popular rock band 2-Gen Alpha. Introducing...Avoria "Avery" Fawns!

Avery makes her debut at the end of the second chapter when she and the band show up unexpectedly at the cafe. She comes off as laid back, friendly, and somewhat mischievous, especially during her interactions with Hakan. There is also a perpetual air of mystery about her, dispelled only when she performs on stage.

I came up with the name "Avoria" thirteen years ago when I was a kid, back when I used to draw portraits of women--horribly, might I add--and assign them made-up names (although searching Google now tells me that I wasn't groundbreaking in my discovery). For some reason the name came back to me while I was brainstorming characters earlier this year, and after some tinkering, I ended up with Avery Fawns.

Her role in Whiskey Tea Cafe as the protagonist's love interest originally belonged to a character named Kalani Milohai, who is now the protagonist of my debut novel. Avery was actually going to be a supporting character in the novel (which I had planned to be a direct sequel to Whiskey Tea Cafe), but when I started reading about first rights in the publishing industry, I bumped Kalani off this project and moved Avery to take her place.

Regarding Avery's appearance, she actually has hazel eyes and long chestnut hair, unlike what my above illustration depicts. (She is NOT bald! I promise!)

When I draw people as birds, I generally omit clothing and hair because 1) I want to stay consistent with my art style, and 2) I'm actually just really lazy. I usually distinguish females by assigning them head accessories, such as a flower or a bow.

But since I wouldn't want you to go around with the mental image of a bald female vocalist in my story, I drew this extra picture just for you:

Check out those luscious locks!

And to all you artists fixing to nitpick my shading and highlights, I'd like to issue the disclaimer that I draw all my pictures with my trackpad and Paint.NET (which is basically a fancy version of MS Paint).

...Not much of an excuse, huh? Yeah, I didn't think so, either. All right, bring on the criticism!