Tag Archives: The Eye of Kog

It Figures: A New Hope

Because in the end you need to show, not tell.

I told you I would, and I did. Father’s Day weekend 2016 I marched into the local craft and game-stores, bought the gear, and laid out a space in my basement to start painting figurines again. I’m honestly quite scared.


Not who you might think. My three unpainted immortal-sized figurines are glued and ready as I showed you last time. If I am successful they will be works of art. But come now. Gotta’ take a test run.

Best practice- newspaper upside-down, or else you'll start reading...
Best practice- newspaper upside-down, or else you’ll start reading…

So I riffed my old stock, threw out 95% of the paint, all the glue, and got to the level of the old, unfinished figs. There were MANY more than I remembered: dozens of them. And most not very impressive, a few cool enough but not representative of anything I’ve seen in the Lands. I narrowed it down to a handful both relevant and curious. Then I biased back toward what was of immediate interest and not too tough to start out on. The winners:


The Bell-Ringer

Bell-Ringer2This was a can’t-lose no-brainer choice. This unearthly image from a shared nightmare horrified and nearly killed the entire band of adventurers in The Plane of Dreams. That’s a really fun tale, by the way, kind of a hit-parade of heroes from tales set in an earlier period (including Judgement’s Tale and Three Minutes to Midnight). But the cool-factor for the Bell-Ringer goes up since he’s a) larger than life-sized (easier to paint) and b) a kind of horror stereotype with little skin and big “handles” for painting (wide swatches of the same color, not as much detail). I believe I can be very successful with him.


The proud, near-manic Primara of Oncario is an important figure in The Eye of Kog and I do need to address the gender-balance whenever I can, especially when it’s an authority figure. She will definitely be more trouble to paint, lots of small detail, and I might wait until last with her. She’s seen here bearing the traditional office-staff of the Primara, not the Scepter of Law she used to grow her city’s power, and thus destroy it. I really must explore Vuthienne’s characters to reflect her better, and painting could help (two weeks to go until the book is done and her big scene is coming up).

Final Judgement

Final Judgement1I could hardly believe this figure when I took it out. I forgot I had it! The father of Solemn Judgement, equivalent to Sir Not Appearing in this Novel from Judgement’s Tale, is nevertheless an important image and influence on his son through the tale of his subsequent life. Talk about a Father’s Day surprise! That’s the same hat, cape and boots which Solemn took to go adventuring, and of course Final bears both a sword and gun he never allowed his son to hold (but the latter of which Judgement finds in the Lands anyway, and takes with him).

These three will be my warm-up attempts before I attempt Percis, Astor and Stathos.


DaysofK_rpgFor my supplies I took a run into the local game-store Days of Knights, which if you haven’t seen it is well worth a trip. Lots of places have “this store”, and around here it’s The Days of Knights: call me an apple-polisher but I think the displays just get better and better around there. I bought about a dozen bottles of paint to start my new excursion into the world of fine detail and eye strain. The folks there are terrific, there’s a game club in the back, events every week, and more. Maybe I just started up painting so I’d have an excuse to go back here more often.


I can already tell, I’m going to make big-time use of my magnifying lens. I used its light and even its magnifying power to hone in on some of the faces and detail work I wanted to

Part-way along, lots of "oops" lines
Part-way along, lots of “oops” lines

show you with these three figs. As valuable as it’s been, though, you have to be careful– the lens annihilates your depth perception, and if the lens isn’t flat over the top of the figure, I actually started to get vertigo! I used water-bottle tops to mix in new shades (wrote the formula on my newspaper in case I had to try again) and attacked the Bell-Ringer in classic “getting dressed” formula (meaning, the inmost layers first, moving to things further out on his body). I couldn’t stop thinking about Geri, the old man who fixes Woody, his arm shaking like a leaf until he starts working. Pretty much the same here! But with the fine points on my brush and the help of the lens, I was able to minimize the going-over strokes. ToyStory2_GeriMixed colors for almost all his accoutrements, the only solid shade I used was the bronze of his outer armor. I wanted him looking unhealthy and yet threatening, nightmarish I guess the best term. In the story he doesn’t carry a scythe, but a hammer which he uses to bash the bell and drive the sleeper to terror. The dream gets worse and worse the more he appears.; but the Bell-Ringer dream was rare and not shared until Nightmare came along…

I mixed black and other dark colors into my lighter wood and green shades, then decided to use grey or black washes on most of the figure to take off some of the edge of reality.

I will likely come back to touch him up in some places you can see here, but this is the essential effect I was reaching for. Let it dry, spray with matte finish, detach from the paper and the Bell-Ringer will be the first new addition to my figurine collection in longer than I care to think about. Maybe I’ll settle him on the shelf close to the Tributarians who I’m sure recall him fondly.

You rang? No, I did!
You rang? No, I did!




Next up will be Final Judgement and Vuthienne. One more shout-out to The Days of Knights for being my favorite kind of local store!




What’s Been Going On

I thought I’d write a quick note to let you know what’s transpired in my writing life these days. Let me rephrase- my publisher thought it would be a good idea to write a quick note, etc. And naturally I’m delighted to do so, because I couldn’t be happier with my career since I signed that contract. It’s open-ended regarding duration, and that makes me happy too.

 The Eye of Kog

Created with Nokia Refocus

Most of my writing time is spent chipping away at the crucial last fifth or so of the long-awaited sequel to Judgement’s Tale. And I say “long-awaited” with confidence, because I’ve been here every day, waiting. The thought-flow with this tale has covered my entire chronicling career, and I’m sure this slow progress has something to do with this incredulous feeling I have that it might soon all be on paper. What remains ahead of me is the climax of both books, where the time-line accordions back in, so that characters are doing things at the same hour, and where many of the main heroes finally meet. Those would normally be interesting scenes on their own– add the fact that a liche and Earth Demon are also present, with the fate of the northern kingdoms at stake, and you’ve got a rather complex interaction of events to sort out.

One additional problem I’m starting to have is the Point of View; characters who have been off on their own for hundreds of pages are now meeting others who have served to narrate the action for their own threads. Judgement meets Gareth, Treaman meets Pol. Who wins? Which “side” do I take? It’s harvest time for all the work that’s gone into chronicling their deeds and these are happy choices. Still tough ones.

I plan to finish The Eye of Kog by July 4th. Yes of 2016, wiseass. The idea is to bring it out as I did Judgement’s Tale in a set of novellas (three this time), followed by the full novel, then paper. The tale I originally saw as a single book, if stacked up, would trip a rhino. I flatter myself that many authors might not know what to do with themselves then. For me, not a problem.

Perilous Embraces

My much-maligned “other WiP” is the third installment of the Shards of Light series, following The Ring and the Flag and Fencing Reputation. W’starrah Altieri is the protagonist and third member of the unwitting band of heroes who may be able to save Cryssigens, and perhaps the entire Southern Empire, from falling back into civil war and ruin. Just as the first two books told us about Captain Justin and the Stealthic Feldspar, Perilous Embraces follows the Lavender Lady in a tale of political intrigue with more than a little romantic heat.

So, in a nutshell I’m trying to chronicle the deeds and feelings, in second person voice no less, of a beautiful woman with tons of suitors, who is clever, ambitious and can see the future. In my personal dictionary that’s the definition of the term “away game”. The draft is about 60% complete and I’ll post the ticker on my website once I’m done with EK.

Chronicler Trivia: I never have a detailed outline of my tales, since I’m working from long-standing memories of what I witnessed. But I have had a curious ability to predict how long the stories will be, ever since I realized that “Judgement’s Tale” had to be two novels rather than one. I lob a word count out there, and I usually come quite close to hitting that number when the smoke clears. A bit spooky, but fun.

 I’m less sure about how long it will take but based on length I’m going to go with Labor Day 2016.

And by then, I’ll have been to several more places in the Alleged Real World where I can continue preaching the Lands of Hope to unsuspecting customers.

  • May 7th at the Hockessin Book Shelf, signing books and meeting folks
  • The biggest news I almost forgot since someone else is doing all the work- by the end of May, Fencing Reputation— the second installment of the Shards of Light series– will be out in paperback. I’m very excited that readers will get to see both Justin (The Ring and the Flag) and now Feldspar begin to unravel the conspiracy surrounding the city of Cryssigens
  • Early June, I will continue my author-dungeon interview series and I’m taking volunteers, so if you have something coming out this summer I’d be happy to torture the details out of you.
  • Near Father’s Day- if I’m good, new paints and brushes and then some progress on figurines!
  • August 6th at Dover ComicCon (my first con!), I’ll be setting up as a vendor and perhaps giving a presentation
  • October 12th at Appoquinimink Library, giving my presentation on “Hook ‘Em from the Start”
  • October 22nd, the Hockessin Book Fair where I had such a blast last year, and now coming the week before Halloween
  • If I can just get my act together enough to do another signing, and then find a radio interview gig, I’d be a very happy chronicler

sisyphusNone of that excuses a lack of writing! I’m back on it, now I promise. This is my favorite image to stand for my writing process– and I know about Sisyphus and all but to me this is a very Hopeful image. Forget the backslides, those happen (and usually caused by hubris anyway). No, man– that rock is MOVING! Unbelievable, but happening and all the time.

Just a bit slowly is all. But hey. Big rock.