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#WeCreate Creative Gifts for a Dragon

Frankie Av

Art come in many forms, and this week I was presented with two very special creative pieces which left me very happy.

The first one was actually started a few weeks ago when Sam began writing a fanfiction based on my book Malevolence. She based the story before the happenings in Malevolence, way back when Louise first developed the MA3 serum which caused so many problems for my characters. We got to see Louise and her marvelous mind at work, and witnessed the lengths she would take to successfully create Mentis. The final chapter went up a few days ago and reached a momentous climax which left me grinning like an idiot. Sam captured Louise’s ego-driven malevolent nature perfectly and provided a part of the story I had not contemplated writing. As I have said before, fan fiction is special and a valid writing form, as it allows fans a glimpse into the lives of characters from books, television shows and films that they wouldn’t normally get a chance to see. Sam provided such a story and I absolutely loved it!
You can find her story here.

The second piece of art I received was from Chaos. It was my birthday on Wednesday and she drew me a picture as a present. I did not expect the gift and when I opened it, I knew exactly what I was looking at!

It is a picture of Logan McKenzie from my book Malevolence! Chaos has read the first chapter of the sequel–Emergence–and was able to create a digital artwork from that one chapter alone. If you have read Malevolence, you will know what happened to Logan and should recognise the emotions behind the art. Logan’s posture, his pensive expression and the colours used completes a scene which perfectly captures the first chapter and Logan’s frame of mind. I absolutely love it! I love it so much I even have it set as my background image on my laptop!

So no matter what your creative outlet is, whatever you create is worth creating. It might make a rather miserably frustrated Dragon who can’t upload her PDF file,  smile 😉

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

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#WIPFrankie Writing Emergence, Finished Malevolence, Yu-Gi-Oh cards! XD

I have a migraine for the third day running so this vlog is short. But, a little update on writing Emergence, print copy of Malevolence and Yu-Gi-Oh stuff…again… XD

*Update!* I DID get the Winged Dragon of Ra! As well as Card of Demise, Curse of Dragonfire, Holding arms/legs, Rebellion and others! WOOT! 😀

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

#FrankieWIP Yu-Gi-Oh! Inspiration, Art, Writing and Outtakes!!

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Some fangirling today! Got a new figure to add to my collection! Some news on the writing front as well as new art! Hope you enjoy!
Comments, shares and feedback welcome 😉

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

#WhateverWednesday Fanfiction and Malevolence

Sam unwittingly stole my thunder the other day when she spoke about her fanfiction for Malevolence, but I really want to talk about it! And so, I shall 🙂

In the past week I have read two pieces of fanfiction for Malevolence. When I received the emails for them, I couldn’t help but grin like an idiot. I wonder if other writers and such grin the same when they see their work being written about by fans.

The two pieces could not be any more different if they tried. Sam wrote a prequel, whereas Chaos wrote a sequel. Sam’s has more than one chapter, Chaos wrote a one shot. Sam wrote about characters who are not in Malevolence, while Chaos concentrated on characters who are. In Chaos’s piece, I was able to read about how my own characters were dealing with the aftermath of Malevolence. How they regard each other and how they cope with their situation. It was pretty much on the mark for how I have started the sequel book; Emergence, so perhaps I am doing something right after all.

In Sam’s piece, I got to read about what happened before Malevolence. How Mentis A3 was brought into existence, who was involved with its production and who these people were. I had no idea they existed. They must have, as Sam wrote about them. They are now all part of the Malevolence universe!

See, this is why I love fanfiction and why writing and reading fanfiction can be so much fun! While many look down on it, I find it is a way to expand the universes of our favorite books, programs and movies. I mostly write fanfiction when something does not end the way I want, when something ends too soon, and sometimes, when stories take a turn which I don’t like. In other words, I write my fanfiction for my own pleasure to give closure on stories that had otherwise let me down in some way.

My favorite show, Stargate Atlantis, ended prematurely when the producers pulled funding. It left a big hole in my weekly viewing as well as my fangirl heart. It was this show that got me writing in the first place and how I discovered fanfiction. I wished to continue the stories of the team, wanted to read more about them. So one day, I went in search of the books which accompanied the series and ended up reading fanfiction. While I was aware of fanfiction before then, I had no idea what it really was until the show ended. Before, I thought–like many–what is the point? None of us own the characters, nor the show, so why are people writing about it? Then I read some and was blown away by the wealth of imagination and great writers out there. I found a new universe filled with everything Stargate and I loved it! Don’t get me wrong, there are stories I steer away from, mainly fluff and slash and the likes. And there are bad stories as well as good. But give me a well written fan story about the team out on an adventure and in danger, any day–so long as it is complete. There is nothing worse than becoming hooked on a piece of fanfiction that is never finished. Unfortunately, when things end, many of the fanfiction writers leave the fandom to write for others. Me? I still read and write about Stargate Atlantis, sometimes, when I have the time.

I’ve written five stories for Stargate Atlantis, and it’s quite obvious which ones were written first. They don’t read as smoothly as the later stories, are overly descriptive and quite long-winded. But, they still to this day get read and receive good reviews, which is why I have never taken them down. While writing these stories, I was able to get instant feedback on my writing. This is because there are so many people out there who want to read the same things I do! I honed my skills as a writer on fanfiction sites, modified my writing style because of feedback I received from fellow fans. Fanfiction really is a great way to learn how to write!

The last piece of fanfiction I wrote was for part of the Naruto fandom. I wrote is as I prepared to write Malevolence and it far surpassed any fanfiction I had written before. It has been reported on Tumblr, Deviant Art and AO3 as one of the best fanfiction examples of the particular part of the fandom. It has also been translated into different languages after requests I received through Tumblr. Feedback like that told me I was ready to write Malevolence. If I can write their favorite characters in such a way that made people cry and laugh and spread the story to all reaches of that particular part of the fandom, then perhaps I was ready to write my own characters and tell their story.

I often wondered in the past, and asked several fanfiction writers, why they didn’t try writing their own books. Their writing was more than good enough to attempt writing their own work. More often than not, it was down to lack of confidence in creating characters and worlds of their own. In fanfiction, these are already established, so people find it easier to write about them, rather than attempt to create anything original for themselves. But so much work is put into fanfiction, trying to perfect the words and fit them into an already established universe, that I know many fanfic writers would be able to make their own worlds and write their own books. In fact, I said this much to Sam when we first met, and look at us both now!

Fanfiction is not for everyone, but it should never be looked down on. It should be celebrated for showcasing the talented writers out there whose imaginations continue  fandoms which otherwise would have disappeared through time. It should be recognized as a useful tool for those honing their writing skills. It should also be acknowledged for the joy it can bring to people.

As I get ready to write my third book, I look back on my fanfiction writing and smile. Fanfiction makes me happy. It helped me become a better writer. It brought me into contact with people who shared my love of Stargate, Naruto and other shows and books. It introduced me to my writing partner, Sam, and led to the formation of the Dead Pete Society. I will always love fanfiction for what it brings me and what it has done for me. So never look down on fanfiction writers, you never know whose life they changed with their work. 😉

F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

#SundayReview Last Flight of the Vulcan Bomber

I had planned to review X-Men: Apocalypse this week, but due to software issues, I’ve decided to review a television program I watched while trying to fix my laptop. Not many know that I am a transport enthusiast. I love cars, trains and aircraft of all designs. My favourite aircraft of all, is the Avro Vulcan bomber. There is a grounded Vulcan in the National Museum of Flight in East Fortune airfield, East Lothian, as well as a Concorde and several hangers filled with amazing machines. Tonight I watched a repeat showing of Guy Martin: Last Flight of the Vulcan Bomber. I’d seen it when it first aired, but it was just as enjoyable second time around.

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The show followed the final flight of the Vulcan bomber–XH588–which was the last airworthy Vulcan left in the world. She had a dedicated team who maintained her; a dying breed of mechanics who knew the ins-and-outs of every part of XH588, and quite obviously loved the beast.

Guy Martin spent time with the team as they prepared XH588 for flight. It was to be her final flight; a journey which would take her the length of the UK to fly past pre-determined landmarks. The farewell tour was well advertised, and many people showed up at the landmarks to see this amazing beauty fly past. We got to see Guy in a side formation with the Vulcan and a spitfire. Seeing the two craft so close, the hearty Spitfire looked tiny. Yet the Spitfire still flies and now, the Vulcan does not. Guy answers the question as to why the Vulcan was to be decommissioned while the older Spitfire remains active in the skies. Quite simply, it was down to cost and the depleting force of specialised mechanics left to keep her running.

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Guy was in one of the planes to the right

 

The majority of the show was about getting the bomber ready for the final flight. Guy–a rough-at-the-edges motorcycle racer, was almost beside himself with glee. It was great to watch the excitement and anticipation flicker over his face whenever he looked at the bomber or helped tighten a bolt or fix a wire connection. He seemed as excited as I was when I first stood next to the big one in East Fortune, but he was able to touch it, work on it, get inside and scramble about it–something I’ve always wanted to do. All the way through the show, you could see the wonder in Guy’s eyes and respect for those who kept XH588 in top condition. I like Guy, he is down-to-earth and not scared to try things, as was seen when he taxied a Vulcan on the runway!

GUY MARTIN'S LAST OF THE VULCANS

Guy with the Vulcan bomber XH558.

Not only did we get to see so much of this magnificent war machine, we were also given the opportunity to understand what it was like to be part of a Vulcan crew. Throughout the show we were introduced to the crew of XH588 and other Vulcan crewman. They spoke of their experiences with the bomber, what it was like to fly her and why their elite team were regarded with such respect. It was interesting to see so many people become emotional about a great hunk of flying metal, but this is what the Vulcan does to people.

By the end of the show, we saw XH588 towed out of her hanger on a foggy morning with doubts she would fly at all due to the weather. Despite this, her crew checked her from top to bottom, filled her with fuel and got her ready regardless. It was obvious they were all both proud and sad. They had maintained the bomber for so long, it looked as if they were saying goodbye to a friend or family member, especially when the weather cleared and XH588 was handed over to her flight crew.

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Guy in the co-pilot seat of a Vulcan 

When she took off, her screaming engines powering her gracefully in to the blue sky, my heart was hammering in my chest. To see her take that final flight was both beautiful and heartbreaking. As she flew over hills and cities alike, the camera caught sight of her delta-winged shadow swiftly moving over the ground. It reminded us that it would never slip over the landscape again.

Guy Martin showed us sides to the aircraft we could only dream to see, and every moment of the show, you felt you were there with him enjoying every second of contact with the machine. I will always love the Vulcan. I have other favourites aircraft, but will always regard the Avro Vulcan bomber as the most beautiful and much loved fighter planes in the world. The program is well worth a watch if you can find it!

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F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE

#WeCreate: Artist FireEagleSpirit on DA

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I am not much of an artist. At best, I think I’m well above average but not even close to skilled enough to consider making this my career. As I’ve told Frankie, I think I will stick to what I’m good at, and my gift is the gift of words. However, I love art. Evocative works of art are incredibly powerful for conveying thought and emotion and a limitless supply of inspiration. I have a DeviantArt account and there are days where I just seek out art for hours upon hours to disturb my emotional center. Frankie and I have had more than one evening where we just fling fan art back and forth and sigh over it.

Today I want to highlight an artist that is very special to me. Their artist handle on DeviantArt and Tumblr is FireEagleSpirit. I love her style. It just strikes me as so complete and sleek. I could imagine an entire anime film done in her style no problem, and I feel like it would be the most gorgeous creation to see on screen.

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Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen

I discovered FireEagleSpirit while I was writing Forever, a Naruto Fan Fiction love triangle set in the Founders Era. I was about halfway through and really starting to get into the unexpected feelings I had for the characters and what I was putting them through, so I was on the hunt for some fabulous fan art. It was Toka who led me to her gallery. Toka is a rarely depicted character, having only a couple of panels in the manga and as little screen time in the anime (incidentally, this is the reason I adore fan fiction…the fanfic community has developed her into this amazing bad ass worthy of respect).

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This was THE picture that drew me in. 

But more than just Toka, she has Toka and Mito:

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They look like an indomitable team. 

Mito and the Founders:

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I love how serene she looks here, even though the two men are always at odds. 

As well as this series that makes the characters look like they’re at a masquerade ball (gorgeous!):

 

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And these fantastic black and whites:

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She has also invented these original characters:

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And she’s got a whole series of her own original characters:

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All all, FireEagleSpirit soared straight to the top of my favorite artists list and remains there to this day. Her work is truly inspired and gorgeous, and every time she posts something new I just sigh in appreciation. Check her out on DeviantArt and Tumblr!

S.K. Balk lives in the frozen wasteland of Northern Michigan. She is the author of the dystopian medical sci-fi THE BLOOD OF NERYS.

My Stomach is in Knots

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Sam Update!

This is a bit of a side adventure about fanfiction. But it’s also a story about writing the story in your heart and believing in yourself, and how good things can happen when you doubt yourself the most.

Something just happened to me, and it’s something that’s so amazing and incredible that I am not sure I can even adequately capture it for you in words.

Let’s start with the beginning… in the Naruto fandom, there are a few people who stand out in the community that just… everyone pretty much knows them. There are the fanfic writers who are well known for a particular style or a particular character. Then there are also a few artists who constantly produce works of fan art that are so incredibly good that they pretty much represent every good work of art for a given character.

These people basically become celebrities to the fanfiction community. If you read/write/draw the fandom and are even remotely serious about it, you KNOW who they are. You can’t help it.

So the story begins when I found a fan art. It’s an amazing, scorchingly hot fan art that redefined the way I saw a ‘Ship that I’d never even considered a ‘Ship before. It’s flawless. It’s wonderful. I’ve shown it to so many people I can’t keep count, like LOOK AT THIS PERFECT PIECE OF ART. It simply cannot be overstated. I bookmarked it. I saved it to my computer so I could easily share it with others. I saved it as my desktop for a time, just to keep having a look.

And then I read a fanfic from a friend of mine, and it sort of started to hint at this ‘Ship, and I told her she should write that one. She countered with “Why don’t you?” It was a ‘Ship outside my comfort zone for a couple of reasons. 1) It involves a character I fear ruining with my writing (he’s already flawless without my help) and 2) It’s a homosexual ‘Ship, which I had no experience writing and didn’t feel as if I had a right to.

But I respected this friend’s opinion, and we got to talking about it. And then I got to thinking about it. And then I was seized by an idea that would not let go. It was such a powerful, stubborn idea that I got myself out of bed and stayed up several hours into the wee hours of the morning on a day I had to work to write the first 12,000 words of it. Within 10 days, I was done writing it. All 53K of it. And then I edited it, and then…

… then I got in a bit of a snit with someone on Tumblr, who reinforced the feeling that I had that I had no right to write a homosexual pairing. They tore me to shreds because I defended a canon married couple in opposition to a popular M/M ‘Ship that included the husband in the fandom and agreed that it was odd how heterosexual women fetishize homosexual males by voraciously writing and enjoying the work (I still think this is weird… but for ME. If this is something you enjoy, no one should tell you not to). I’m a straight ally (err… mostly straight), and I was struck down so harshly that I stopped writing for a while. I almost deleted the story I wrote. I definitely sat on it for a long time. I ended up composing a 5K disclaimer about why I wrote the story and how you don’t have to read it if you don’t want to.

And then one day, in a brief moment of defiance, I just fucking posted my fanfiction and shut the computer down. You know why? Because I wrote it. And I liked it. And the story had to be written so I did it. And one jerk on Tumblr wasn’t going to stomp on something that brought me so much enjoyment.

So now back up. Remember those artists I was talking about? The ones that are so amazingly talented that they’re basically famous in the Naruto fandom?

A few weeks back one of them lent their extraordinary talent to illustrate a scene from THIS fanfic. I came on here and blogged about it because I was so excited. It’s my background on my desktop now.

Breathing Glass Fanart

JUST LOOK AT IT!

This is what happened to me today–

I logged on for a Tumblr break. I don’t love Tumblr because of what happened to me a while back. But I looked up at my toolbar and I had 2 messages. I never have messages. A while back I sent a picture of a Team SoloMid jack o lantern to Dyrus, so I thought perhaps he’d finally responded.

It was another of the brilliant artists, best known for their work with Itachi and Shisui. Two full messages, about how they would draw the whole story if they had the time. About how I’d mastered the dynamic of the relationship I characterized. About how convincing it was, and how drawn into the story they were when they were reading. About how I surprised them with every turn and kept them engaged throughout the entire story and never devolved into cliches. About how “that is so rare, especially with such a long story. It was also great to read language-wise. I hope I brighten up your day with this message because you deserve to feel so confident about your writing!”

I was in the room with my mother and sister at the time. I try not to discuss the content of my stories, especially given this one was one of my more… ahem… explicit ones? But I sat here and pushed my computer away. My stomach fell and clenched into knots. Because OMG, I know this artist. And OMG, they’re amazing, and-and-and… they LOVED my story? They want to draw it, more than once? It’s like any other big name celebrity casually strolling and fangirling about something you’ve done. I even said out loud, “Oh my gawd!” And I gasped a little and covered my face and looked around, completely shocked that life was continuing as normal even though THIS was happening. “This amazing artist just sent me fan mail. I don’t think you understand,” I said. [They don’t].

So just in case I’ve lost you throughout this narrative, let’s recap.

  1. I was inspired by a Fan Art from an artist I have great respect for to write a story.
  2. I wrote the story
  3. I almost didn’t post the story, out of fear.
  4. I posted the story.
  5. The artist of the Fan Art that INSPIRED the story just sent me fan mail.

The artist has no idea. Time to let them know.

Now excuse my while I go cry and/or throw up.

Note: I would post the artist for you, or the fan art, save I don’t currently have permission. Let me see if I can get it.

EDIT: Permission GRANTED! Here they are: Fifi-la-Fumeuse/MalignedAffairs DeviantArt Gallery

Here are a few more of their works:

au_shisui_by_fifi_la_fumeuse-d62pxmz waves_by_fifi_la_fumeuse-d65hqv8 yakuza_by_fifi_la_fumeuse-d6sxmuu

Still Alive!

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So I thought I would pop up a vlog as I haven’t made one for a while. 🙂 we have been uber busy, but here is an update and some of the artwork I’ve been working on recently!

The Dragon Keeper

Little Foxy and the Fireflies

A Different Kind of Vlog

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I meant to post this a few days ago, but forgot….

A slightly different vlog that I made for those wonderful people who made my day with reviews and comments on a recent fic I wrote 🙂

 

Got Mah Mojo Back! ;)

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Hey everyone! Long time no vlog for this dragon! Hope you are all well! Just a short update/vlog. I didn’t realise how long it had been since I updated here!

Anyway… I have a favour to ask you guys. I have a drawing in a competition that relies on likes and comments to win and I wondered if you could take a moment to help me out? Press the link and like and comment and it will be truly appreciated!!

https://www.facebook.com/yajihulaanime/photos/a.589018601131512.1073741857.562697890430250/918147831551919/?type=1

 
I also mention a short story in the video. If you are interested in reading it (original work) then you can find it here:
http://archiveofourown.org/works/3555422

Comments and feedback more than welcomed!

Also, since I have not updated in a while, here is my latest digital drawing called The Ties That Bind:

The Ties That Bind

Now on with the vlog! 😀