Here’s another bookmark to go with your copy of SongBird by Dighm Liting! I’ll be printing a bunch of these soon once I’m done with some more designs so look out for them! This one is the mermaids who have some of my favorite designs and I’ll be putting out some sketches soon as well.
Meanwhile, you can purchase the novel here:
Buenos Días, mis linternas! I’ll be printing some bookmarks pretty soon, but before I get them printed I’ll have to draw them out, of course! Here’s the first in the long line. Enjoy, Greta and Alfons, from the novel, Song Bird by Dighm Liting! Available everywhere books are sold!*
*Availability may be limited to online in certain areas.
Hello, my little lanterns! I am back! I know it’s been a very long time since I’ve updated. I’m pretty disappointed in myself, especially since I was so consistent about updating at the beginning of last year, but life happens and it happened pretty hard to me over the holidays.
Regardless, I’m back and plan to update consistently once again. Starting today, I will be posting every Tuesday and Friday at 6:00 AM (PST).
So on to my topic of the day, Song Bird is officially on paperback and it’s available just about everywhere you can buy books! Here’s a pic of my copies and a synopsis.
Greta believes in magic. Her brother Hanno, does not. The forest is ready to prove him wrong.
After moving to a new town on the edge of a great woods to live with their uncle, a brother and sister find themselves immersed in folklore and whispers of magic. Their uncle insists that the forest is rife with magic, and although Greta is enchanted with the legends of witchcraft, Hanno refuses to believe the stories.
But when Hanno taunts the magic of the forest, the forest witch responds by turning them to songbirds. The witch gives them an ultimatum: complete her perilous trial and prove themselves to the forest, and she may return them to the world they know… But fail to succeed, and they will never leave the forest alive.
The classic story of Hansel and Gretel returns to life in a new fantastical fairytale steeped in dark magic and Finnish folklore. Hear the songs, heed the warnings, and take care entering the forest – you may never leave it.
The mountain trail was long back up to her mother’s house then passed it leading onto the dirt roads that became even darker than the scarcely lit farmlands. There were no street lights up there and by the time Charlie had gotten to the bottom of the forest covered mountain path it had become so dark she was debating on turning back. Charlie turned this way and that in contemplation before pulling out her cheap smart phone and opening the app store to search for a flashlight. It didn’t take long for her to realize that she had no service and a loud grunt escaped her mouth before she shoved her phone back into her pocket to resist the urge to throw it down the hill. Then, suddenly, a light was shining on her and she stilled.
“What in the hell do you think you’re doing out here, Charlotte?” Came Elliot’s usual scolding tone and Charlie felt her shoulders drop in relief then rise again in irritation.
“Would you stop mothering me, Ellie?” she asked, mockingly politely, enjoying the look abashed look of frustration on her brother’s face. Looking back up to the trees, she could see the beginnings of a pathway with the light from Elliot’s phone.
Elliot watched Charlie squint as a shadow passed through the trees but all he saw was a girl unable to see in the dark without her glasses. He sighed, pulling the large orange frames from his pocket and handing them to his sister, making it all too obvious that he had followed her. She thanked him quietly, distracted, and turned back to the trees to try and find the shadow again, but there was nothing. Only still woods, darkness and the mountain breeze.
“What are you doing out here?” he asked again with significantly more patience.
“I’m going to see grandpa,” she answered casually, as if she hadn’t just dropped a bomb and Elliot wasn’t staring wide eyed at her. Charlie hesitated, wondering if it was a good idea to bring Elliot into a place that was so clearly haunted, but she had never seen a spirit attack a human that couldn’t see it and she needed his light to see. She looked back at him once before deciding that he would definitely follow her no matter how much he didn’t want to, then took one step into the woods before he stopped her.
“What are you doing?!” he near shouted. “Are you crazy?! You can’t go in there!”
“I need to ask him some questions.” Charlie shrugged him off and continued onto the path with reckless bravery.
Elliot glanced around in a paranoid fashion before scrambling to her side. “Can’t you do that in the morning?!” he whispered loudly.
“No.” Charlie looked back at him for a moment as if he was asking a stupid question and he should know it. “What would I do in the mean time?”
“Gee, I don’t know. Sleep?” he glared.
Charlie sighed. She wanted to tell him the truth but he wouldn’t believe her, so she tried to think of a lie instead but nothing came to mind. In the end she simply stayed silent and Elliot grew more exasperated. He threatened to go home, taking his light with him, but Charlie knew he wouldn’t leave her alone in the mountains at night. So instead she listened to Elliot’s complaintive whispering for the entirety of the thirteen minutes it took to reach her grandfather’s cabin.
It was easy to tune him out. For every “It’s a school night,” there was a “Look, two humans,” echoing from the leaves. For every “Mom’s going to kill us,” there was a “What are they doing here?” from somewhere in the trees. She tried her damndest to ignore the voices, but every now and then she would glance back at Elliot, wondering if he really couldn’t hear them. Finally they stood before a rundown cabin, moss and vines growing in and out of the wood, darkness encompassing every corner. Even from the outside it was obvious that no one had been there for years.
“Why aren’t there any animals around here?” Elliot quietly looked around, subconsciously moving closer to Charlie. “Shouldn’t we at least hear some birds?”
“No. Animals know better,” Charlie said eerily. She had seen enough to know that animals could see what she saw and it was clear that these woods were crawling with spirits. There was no way any animals would be around such a place and knowing he wouldn’t get mauled by a mountain lion was the only reason she was willing to let Elliot come with her.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” he grimaced.
Charlie only rolled her eyes. “It means what it means.” she answered impatiently, stepping up to the door. For a moment she considered turning back. The air was just as thick and uncomfortable as she remembered, and she couldn’t imagine that anyone who could see and feel what she did would choose to live here. But this was her only option so she steeled herself and knocked loudly on the door three times.
Elliot made an audibly scared whine as the door unlocked and opened slowly. He wanted to believe that the door gave way from the force of her knock but it was clear that it had been opened from the inside, and when there was nothing but darkness to greet them, he was all for turning tail and running home.
“Get over here, Elliot. I can’t see anything,” Charlie commanded, somehow sure that there was nothing to fear inside that house. Of course, there was no way to convince Elliot of that.
“Sh-shouldn’t we… you know… not trespass? Or something?”
“This place is obviously abandoned. Aren’t you worried about what happened to grandpa?” She reasoned, knowing appealing to his conscience was probably the only way to convince him.
Elliot swallowed loudly, looking back over each shoulder before scurrying toward the door. He stood in front of her in a show of bravery, to protect her, though it was clear that she was far less bothered by their situation. Charlie rolled her eyes before proceeding into the cabin and telling Elliot to keep the light on her.
Inside the air was considerably lighter and, whether he noticed it or not, even Elliot’s shoulders had become less tense. Charlie noticed it. She noticed it so much that, for a moment, she just stood there wondering if that meant that her grandfather was somehow able to do some sort of magic that protected the inside of the house. She wondered if that meant she could do it too. Elliot didn’t pay any mind to her spacing and instead pointed his light in as many different directions as possible just in case there was someone lying in wait to snatch them up and put them in an oven. He expected to find a person, an animal, a ghost, a dead body, anything, but all he found was scattered paper and books, strange trinkets, and a small unmade bed, as if it was left in a hurry.
“This place is a mess.” He grimaced just before tripping and stumbling onto something large in the middle of the floor.
Charlie shook out of her thoughts, taking the time to laugh at Elliot’s clumsiness before helping him up. He glared at her before dusting himself off and pointing his light at the offending object and the two stood back in wonder at the sight of the floor boards coming up around a wide tree trunk.
“There is so much about this that doesn’t make any sense,” Charlie scratched her head as Elliot moved his phone around the area, her eyes drawn to something in the darkness that his light passed over momentarily. Wordlessly, she grabbed her brother’s phone from his hand and pointed it at a wooden post near the bed where a side table should be. On the post was a large white and grey owl, still as death with eyes that almost seemed to meet hers until she blinked.
Elliot made a sudden scramble for her, startled by the creature, before relaxing. “Oh, it’s just a toy.” He exhaled, hand on his chest in a damselish sort of way, Charlie thought. “What’s something like that doing here?”
Charlie turned away from it, disappointed. “Maybe he liked stuffed animals.”
“Don’t say liked like he’s dead or something.” Elliot fumbled with his coat, unbuttoning the top few buttons and unwrapping his tan scarf.
“Well, he might be,” Charlie answered coldly. “From the looks of it he left here in a hurry.”
“We should probably do the same,” Elliot mumbled, reaching for his phone.
Charlie moved it seamlessly to her other hand, keeping it from him, and began to sift through some papers. Elliot’s eyes brightened a bit as they looked over Charlie’s shoulder at folk stories and drawings, but it was clear she was focused on something in particular. Naturally, she ignored him when he asked about it, so Elliot thought back to the words she typed into his search bar and went about searching for anything having to do with a mask.
After some time with nothing to be found, Charlie seemed to deflate a bit. Elliot watched her sink hopelessly as if someone had let the air out of her and reflexively moved to catch her, only managing to hold onto her shoulders as her knees hit the dusty floor.
Charlie glared up at him for only a moment with little force then looked back at the ground where her stockings had picked up a layer of dust from the wood. “Why don’t you call me Charlie anymore, huh?” she asked, a softness in her tone that Elliot wasn’t used to. He didn’t really know how to answer that. “You used to call me Charlie when we were kids. You used to wait for me to come home and then I’d tell you about my day.”
“Where is all this coming from?” He crouched down next to her, a concerned hand on her back, and watched Charlie as she sighed and put herself back together.
“It’s nothing.” She stood, pulling him back up with her. “I’m just tired.” She motioned for Elliot to follow her out the door and he took another look around in the dim light from his phone in Charlie’s hand.
He grabbed a few of the books and a stack of paper before following her. He thought that she might ask him why, but she made no mention of it and Elliot began debating on what he should call his sister from now on. He always thought she just hated her name. Had something so simple really been bothering her?
As they walked on he remembered his freshman year of high school, when Charlie was still in school and they were supposed to walk home together. Somehow in his memory it was always Charlie who had decided to trail behind him or look off in some other direction where she couldn’t see him, but here on the mountain trail where Charlie stuck protectively close to him he was reminded that he was the one who began walking ahead of her first. He was the one who stopped looking at her in awe. He was the one who stopped calling her Charlie.
Age: 19 Species: Mermaid
Likes: Revenge, Playing, New things, Justice, Singing
Dislikes: Cruelty, Indecision, Pirates, Selfish people
Like all Sea People, Maija becomes a siren above the water. Normally this is a fate that mermaids avoid; a side effect of their magic running wild on the surface. However some mermaids like to use it to take their revenge on sailors and pirates for disturbing their waters or simply to protect their territory.
Maija is fun-loving and a bit childish. She won’t stand for injustice and has no problem being vindictive if she feels that she’s justified. Despite that she’s very forgiving and will do whatever she can to help a friend. She’s not a particularly beautiful mermaid compared to others, but a human would never know it.
Sea People cannot breathe above the water’s surface, but Maija isn’t afraid of that so much. Her only real fear would be being trapped. Not being able to swim free for Maija would be a fate worse than death.
Sorry there’s no Energy chapter this week. It’ll resume it’s normal schedule next week. My new schedule is at the end of this post.
In the mean time, I did it, guys! I set out to accomplish a goal and I did it! This year feels very important to me. I’m more productive and more on task, but more conflicted than ever. I decided at the beginning of this year that I would take things one step at a time and pace myself. Every mistake I’ve ever made has been in haste so I don’t want to repeat that pattern. I’m in the middle of some important decisions and I’m really thinking hard about them, but most importantly I’m not letting them get in the way of my art. Writing is my dream and I’m determined to be successful! So without further ado I’ll be revealing my newest project!
I mentioned Kléronomos earlier this year a couple of times, but not in detail so over the course of the next few months I’ll be posting pictures, character designs, music, and some teasers! Starting with the basic synopsis.
Charlie Howell was a music prodigy since she was a little girl, but as she grew she began to notice the strange world around her that nobody else seemed to see. The ghosts and monsters passed her by with little interest and her sightings were snuffed off as jokes until the day of a school performance where she sat in the wood wind section. After an outburst of panic on stage her life began to unravel until she decided that quitting music was the only way to make the monsters go away. After years of trying to escape them she makes a fatal mistake one night and is cursed by a demon. If she can stay awake for five days the demon will disappear, but if she falls asleep she will be eaten alive.
Kléronomos will be an ongoing series of short books or novelettes that center around Charlie and an ancient Greek dragon named Mr. Sofós who is trapped in the body of an owl. It will be lightly illustrated and accompanied by several scores as Charlie must play a special ocarina in order to give Mr. Sofós the power to become a dragon. The first book will follow the above plot while paving the way for an on going plot that will unravel slowly over the coarse of the series. I do not have a set amount of books for this story as I plan to have fun with it for as long as I am able. :)
Book One: Sofós will be available for purchase this summer.
I’d like to take this time to formally end my 100 days of posts. I will no longer be posting everyday, but I will still be keeping a schedule. Now that I’ve kept up with posting everyday I know I can do this! So the schedule will be as follows.
- Monday: Comic Update
- Currently ongoing: My Ghost & My Monster
- I’m planning for Lucy’s Tail to come off of hiatus in May. Possibly sooner, but we will see.
- Wednesday: Blog Post
- I’ll be using this day to continue posting art, character profiles, updates, and more!
- Saturday: Energy 24/6!
- Currently ongoing: Book One: Love, Koichi
- There will be a chapter a week until Book One is finished then there will be a short break before Book Two begins serializing.
- Sunday: Reserved for one of the following
- Recommendation Lists. These will range from Anime & Manga to Books to music. It’ll just be a way for me to gush about things I love, really. Isn’t that what blogs are all about?
- Artist Features. This was part of my 100 days of posts but I will probably keep doing them. I don’t know how contestant I will be though.
- Tutorials and Educational Posts. I’ve been writing some story building exercises and step by steps down. I also want to do some more eye tutorials and stuff so when I get around to them they’ll be posted on Sundays. :)
That’s all! Until next time!
So as of January 31st Song Bird is officially published as an eBook! It’s available for Kindle, iPhone and iPad, Amazon Fire, and Android phones. Pretty much anything with a kindle app. Click here to find it on Amazon or click the image. :D I’ve yet to publish a physical copy but if it gets enough revenue then I’ll be releasing an illustrated special edition! So go read it!
Age: 15 Species: Human
Likes: Folk stories, Magic, Doodling, Lazing about
Dislikes: Chores, Responsibility, Getting scolded
The protagonist of the novel, SongBird, Greta is the twin sister of Hanno though she’s treated more like a younger sister or a daughter. She is used to ignoring her brothers undesirable attitude and demands and doesn’t mind them so much considering he takes any actual responsibility onto himself. She’s expected to act like a lady and, for the most part, does so. She’s meek and avoidant of conflict and though she is easily upset she is just as easy to cheer up.
Greta doesn’t like any form of discomfort so when she and her brother are turned into birds and forced into the life threatening trial of Tuonela she doesn’t have an easy time of it to say the least. Though Greta is childlike and polite, it is her selfishness and cowardice that ultimately traps the two of them in Tuonela.
Age: 15 Species: Human
Likes: Knowledge, Power, Inventing, Experimenting
Dislikes: Being looked down on, Childish things, Disorder
The protagonist of the novel SongBird, Hanno spends his days trying to impress his very critical father and trying to motivate his very lazy twin sister, Greta. Hanno is a pale, freckled teenager who prizes strength of mind over strength of body which puts him at a disadvantage when he becomes trapped in a magical world that required him to go through great lengths in order to achieve his goals. He wears a seemingly permanent scowl and, according to his sister, has a storm behind his eyes at all times. He’s incredibly ambitious and proud and, though he strives to be a great man, can be rude, controlling, and standoffish. He tends to irritate most people, but Greta knows he means well.
As the story progresses, Hanno travels through the strange world of Tuonela guided by a mysterious shape shifting cat named Charon who calls himself a ferryman. He must learn to accept himself and others as they are and to let go of his outrageous pride. On his way he meets a number of people including a cursed swordsman, a band of gypsies, and an annoyingly spirited archer!