Calling all Bloggers!

imagesCACU84DE Happy Halloween hangover, everyone. Alas, the best non-holiday holiday of the year has come and gone.

Typically, Fridays are somewhat slim here at Tessera. That’s because, at least for the moment, we’ve got five days to fill, but only four artists. Much as we’d love to blog 24/7/365, we’re spread out over our many projects like cream cheese on a box of bagels.  We’re delicious, but there’s only so much of us to go around.  

That’s where you might come in.

We’re currently seeking talented guest bloggers to help us make our Fridays more exciting. We’re interested in anyone with something interesting to say. Got a unique perspective you’d like to share? Got a crazy story you’re dying to tell? Got a comic book, a novel, a painting, or a photo album of your latest cosplay event in Tijuana you’d like to show off? Maybe you’re the one we’re looking for.

BestWrite

The pen is mightier than the sword. The keyboard is stronger still.

So if you’re interested and willing to submit to our terrifying gantlet of questions (usually we’ll just ask for a small sample of your writing/storytelling skills) send us an email HERE. We’ll check you out. If you’re qualified, we’ll find room for you on one of many, many Fridays to come.

Much love,

J Edward Neill

Clearwater Chronicle

Clearwater 2013 View from WindowI recently made the long drive to Clearwater, Fl.  And no, it doesn’t mean I love George Zimmerman.

I made this little journey with two goals in mind. The first: to see an old friend who’d arrived in the States from Denmark. The second: to carve a few days out of my routine life and recapture some mojo for writing. Both, I think, proved successful.

Beach at twilight

I wish the water looked just like this for far longer than three minutes each night…

While walking the beach each morning, day, and night, I tried to pay better attention than during previous vacations. I picked my gaze up out of the water (which was too cold for swimming anyhow) and observed my surroundings. And wow, the things I saw:

  • On the first day, after a grueling round of sand 2v2 volleyball, I watched as a British family near the water argued. Ah, the Brits. Their colorful language attracted the attention of everyone within a half-mile. But the real action started when the mother walked right up to her foul-mouthed daughter and punched (not slapped) her right in the chops! No one could believe what had happened. The daughter howled. The dad…laughed. The mom unleashed a stream of profanities I haven’t heard since the last time I watched Snatch. It…was…awesome… More importantly, I can’t get enough of the way the Brits drop the F bomb
  • That night, I saw The Counselor. Now, without getting too deep in spoilers, I’ll just say I love it when the bad guys win. It’s rare in movies, but utterly realistic. The monologues delivered by several characters were deeply philosophical. No one would ever talk like that in real life, but it didn’t matter. Truth is truth, especially grim, hard truth. Movie Review – A
  • On the first night in my hotel, I arrived in my room on the top floor. I had an ocean view, just as requested. The dark water was spread out beneath my window, roiling beneath the stars. I thought to myself, “This is perfect. I’ll get tons of writing done tonight.” But…just as I sat down by the window, the hotel’s elephantine AC system kicked on atop the roof, making my room shake as though a helicopter were landing three feet above my head. I’m all for white noise, but this was absurd. “My night’s ruined,” I feared. “And besides, the concierge is a dead man.” And yet, as it turned out, I was able to tune out the sound of my room shaking and write an entire chapter for Hollow Empire, my joint venture with John McGuire. Strange indeed
Dark Water

The ocean. At night. What else do you need?

Falling Star over ClearwaterOther random events I observed while walking the city:

  • A homeless guy pretending to be a broke tourist. I’d seen him try his little game the previous day, so when he walked up to a young woman and said, “My wife and I are in town for the weekend, but we lost our credit cards. Do you think you could spare me some cash? She really needs her coffee,” I laughed a little bit inside. Sorry, homeless guy, you need to work on your approach. Begging for coffee money isn’t going to cut it
  • A woman with a giant (I mean enormous) tramp stamp of a volleyball. I’ve seen bad tattoos, and then I saw this. It was huge, as in actual-size huge. Just…no…
  • A dude at a Halloween (Best non-holiday holiday ever, btw) party dressed as Christian Grey. His costume: 50 grey-shaded sample paint cards from Home Depot duct-taped to an otherwise unremarkable shirt. While he didn’t win the best costume prize, he won the admiration of every woman at the party
  • Jesus playing Sweet Home Alabama on guitar…with an actual crown of thorns worn over a head full of dreadlocks…drinking Fruit Loop flavored vodka. Yes, really

What does any of this have to do with regaining  mojo for writing? In a nutshell: people-watching. Observe the interesting things people do, listen to the crazy things they say, and add the experience to the card catalogue in your brain. Or, if people-watching doesn’t inspire you, try walking along the ocean at night. If that doesn’t bring you peace, you may want to try vicodin.

Next week I get serious, delivering an excerpt from Dark Moon Daughter, Book II in the Tyrants of the Dead trilogy.

Much love,

J Edward Neill

 

Welcome to Tessera – a Creative Guild

Hello. Welcome to Tessera – A Creative Guild. My name is J Edward Neill. You can call me J. It’s great to meet you. I’m glad you stopped by.

A few months ago, three fellow artists and I opened a door together. We’d been friends of a sort, long ago, but we’d been flung apart by life, circumstance, and the pursuit of our separate dreams. But…on one unremarkable day in the summer of 2013, something unexpected happened. The four of us were involved in a slow-speed, four-car collision at the intersection of ‘We want to spend our lives creating’ and ‘How in the hell do we do it?’ We’ve always been that type, they and I. We want to live, breath, and die in what we create. We want our art to define us. And so here we are.

In case you wondered, we are:

Amanda Makepeace: Painter, Photographer, Web-Warrior Princess, Blogger, Writer, and Lover of Wilderness. I wish I were half as web-savvy as Amanda. Were it not for her, I’d have drowned in the internet long before Tessera saw the light of day

Chad J Shonk: Movie-Maker, Author, Blogger, and Brave Escapee to the Wild, Wild West. I envy Chad his escape from the Southeast, but less so his status as a new father

John McGuire: Comic Book Crafter, Author, Serial Novelist, and general badass neighbor. John is one of few folk alive who can thank himself for inspiring me to write, though I’ll never tell him the why or how of it

J Edward Neill: That’s me.

I still remember my first encounters with John, Chad, and Amanda. We were different people in the dark ages of our youths, but somehow we were the same. Even then, long before we reconnected for Tessera, we existed in a guild of sort. We used to meet in the school library well before the bell rang to announce first period. We were the Breakfast Club, the Goonies, and the White Council all wrapped into one juicy, creative enchilada. If you’ve ever been a part of a group like this, you know exactly what I mean. It’s sacred. No matter what happens when we grow up, it never leaves us.

And so, in the dead of summer 2013, the four of us e-bumped into each other and decided, after very little angst, to crack a door open. It was a musty old portal. Its hinges squealed. Its planks were dry and warped, but as sturdy as stone. The sunlight slipped in through the crack we made, along with a few shadows. Many years had passed us by since last we convened like this. Our individual works were so vastly different than each other’s. Across the eons, we’d scripted movies, painted haunting works of art, created edgy comics, and written novels. We knew we wanted to present a unified front, but not how.

Enter Tessera. If you’re wondering what Tessera means, look it up. It’s Greek. Old Greek. The name fits, and so we stole it away into the night. After we pilfered ourselves the name, we went to work. In a very non-literal sense, the four of us hunkered in a room with a lamp, plucked our pens and paintbrushes from their hiding places behind our ears, and started to write…and draw…and paint…and write some more. We’re not kidding. We take our work seriously. That’s why we’re here.

So…what can you expect from Tessera? Content. Lots of it. We’re driven, we are. I like to think we’d all gladly move to a cabin on the side of some lonely mountain, and create from now until the end of time. Instead of that, we’ll be here every weekday, blogging our wee hearts out. We have downloadable content, including free art, excerpts from novels, short stories, and more. We have stuff for you to buy: books, art, comics…delve deep enough and you’ll find something for everyone. We’d like to connect with you, our readers. If there’s something you want to see on Tessera, we want you to tell us. We’re also receptive to guest bloggers and new guild members. Pour water on us. Let the sunshine in. We want to grow.

There you have it. Tessera…the four of us in a nutshell. In the coming days, you’ll read introductions from the other members of the guild. I hope you’ll get to know them. They’re good people, and damn fine artists in their chosen mediums. In the coming weeks, you’ll see us flood Tessera with ideas, images, stories, thoughts, hopes, fears, light, darkness, and everything in-between. We hope you’ll visit us every day. We’d relish that. We’re a guild, and every guild needs loyal patrons.

J Edward Neill – Author of the Tyrants of the Dead trilogy, Co-author of the Hollow Empire web series, writer of innumerable  short stories, and lover of everything beneath the clouds

Check out my personal corner of Tessera here

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