Friday, July 22, 2022

Story Sneak Peek - Yo Ho Ho

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A long time ago, I used to live with a lot of other cats in a place they called “the schoolyard.” It just never really felt like the place for me though. Don’t get me wrong. I really loved the other cats that lived there. My best friend’s name was Mittens. She was so much fun. We used to hang out together and play all sorts of games together. One of my favorite games was to pretend that we were swashbuckling pirates. We’d talk in fake pirate voices and swing our sticks around, pretending that they were swords.

Then, one day, someone took Mittens to live somewhere else. I was so sad to see her leave, but happy that she’d always have a warm bed to sleep in and yummy food whenever she wanted it. Living in a nice, warm house was Mittens’ dream and it was coming true.

After she left, I sulked around. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t even come out when the man came who fed us. After a while, everyone thought that I had left. Then, one day, I was thinking about how Mittens’ dream came true, and I decided that it was time to help make my own dream come true. I would become a real life pirate.  I would find my own ship and I would sail the seas.

Finding a ship shouldn’t be hard. I lived in Florida which is surrounded by a lot of water. There had to be boats somewhere. The next morning, I packed up my few things and headed out towards the closest water that I knew of. When I got there, I followed a man who looked like he might be a sailor. I was right! He led me right to the biggest boats that I had ever seen.

I walked up the dock. The further I walked, the bigger the boats became. Some of them were big enough to have entire cities on them! I wasn’t interested in a boat that big. I wanted a smaller boat, one where I wouldn’t get lost every time I tried my paw at swashbuckling.

I decided that I had better head back the way that I had come. Sure enough, the boats kept getting smaller, but they were all pretty big. I was about to give up by the time that I got to the end of the dock. All of the ships were just too big for this pirate cat. Then, right there, at the very end of the dock was the perfect pirate ship! As I stood there watching, they even lowered a gangplank. This was the ship for me.

Keeping my eyes on the gangplank, I slowly approached the boat. This was the part that I wasn’t sure about. I couldn’t just take over their ship. That would be like the bad pirates that I had heard about. I didn’t want to be one of those. I wanted to be the kind that swished swords as they sang sea shanties. That kind didn’t seem like they would just take over a ship. I guessed it was time to talk to the captain.

I had perfect timing. As soon as I got to the end of the gangplank, the captain appeared at the top. He was a tall man with a big, bushy beard that was as white as the ocean spray. His face looked like it had been in the sun for days, but he had a twinkle in his eyes that gave me the confidence to walk up the gangplank towards him.

When I reached the top, he smiled down at me while I saluted him.

“Why are you saluting me?” he asked.

“You’re the captain of this fine ship, aren’t you?”

“Yes, yes I am.”

“Then you deserve the respect of a simple salute.”

Sadie could have sworn that the man blushed beneath his rugged tan.

“Well then, Miss, what can I do for you?”

“I would like to officially join your crew as a pirate. I will swab the decks, swashbuckle, sing sea shanties, and wear a fancy hat. I would prefer not to wear an eyepatch though. Those are hard to see through.”

“Have you ever been to sea? It can be a rough life.”

“I have not, but my life up until now hasn’t been easy.”

Sadie told the captain about her life in the schoolyard and how her friend, Mittens, had followed her dreams and now it was time for her to do the same. The captain nodded often, listening to her tale.

“That does sound rough. Well, Miss…I’m sorry, what is your name?”

“Sadie, sir.”

The captain smiled. “Well, Miss Sadie, if you’re sure you want to do this, we would be happy to have you. Come aboard.”

Sadie smiled and picked up her bag. She took one last look around and then marched up the gangplank, ready to start her life as a pirate. 

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Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Cobalt's Castaways

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I'm so excited to be able to say that Cobalt's Castaways is done! I not only finished the final story last night, but I also did an initial formatting. I'm just waiting for the art for the book. Maxx is rocking it, I'm sure. She's such a talented and skilled artist. It wouldn't surprise me if I have the art within a week or two. 

Like Apo's Army, I will be taking this book to Kickstarter. My goal is September 1st. I'm excited to be able to say that we're going to have not one, but two special art prints! These will be either stretch or backer goals. They're being done by Martha Schwartz and JW Sims. There may be more, but that's what I have arranged for now. 

Oooh..did I mention stickers? Both Maxx and JW are doing sticker sets! How cool is that? I love stickers and I know that y'all do too. I wish that I could give you a sneak peek, but I can't yet. As soon as I have the designs in hand, I'll be posting here to give you the first look. 

Until then, take care of yourselves!

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Friday, July 1, 2022

Life is Crazy Sometimes

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Guys, I am the absolute worst about keeping this updated. I wish I knew why. I have the best of intentions but then life gets busy and I totally forget. I hope y'all can forgive me. 

How about an update?

For those who were following along or pledged, Return to the Toy Store was a success on Kickstarter. Thank you to all who helped to make that happen! It's now available on Amazon if you missed your chance to get it on pre-order. 

The boys and I tabled at our first comic convention which was fun. We did pretty well and as with most things in life, I learned a few things along the way. I'm not sure what event you'll find us (me) at next, but I'm hopeful to get out there and share my books with more people. It's been suggested that I check out some local craft fairs and that's totally an option that I want to explore.

So, what's in the pipeline? I'm working on a new book called Cobalt's Castaways. It's another book in the cat line series. I have some returning characters, but I'm introducing a lot of new cats as well. I even have the plot of what might be my first comic in there. I have about five more stories to write and as soon as I have the funds, I'll get my artists working on the cover and interior art. I plan on having the book completely finished when I put it up on Kickstarter for pre-orders. With any luck, that will happen in August. 

On a personal note, my mental/physical health hasn't been the greatest as of late, so please keep sending happy thoughts my way. With any luck (and a lot of work), things will start looking up soon. I'm on a new medicine regimen so fingers crossed we found the right blend! 

Take care and feel free to drop me a line anytime!


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