Sep 26 2013

Art Commissions to Open Monday!

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It’s been a long time since I did open call for commissions! But starting with October, I intend to have fairly regular open slots.

So starting Monday, I’ll open up five commission slots to be accepted and completed within the month of October. I’m telling the world about it now because in the past they’ve sometimes filled up fast and people requested that I give them advance notice. 🙂

Prices will be in the $30-$50 range, depending on the complexity of the image, with an extra charge for printing and/or mailing. Note that crazy stuff may cost more, and that I do not take commissions for explicit erotica or gory violence.

If you’d like to see samples of my work, check out my galleries on DeviantArt and FurAffinity.

-The Gneech

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Sep 24 2013

Beta Reader Slots Open, Plus Suicide Prevention Walk

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As I transition from hobbyist to pro in the writerly field, it occurs to me that I should have a few more beta readers. I currently have a small-but-dedicated pool of folks who I toss writing fragments, ideas, or even whole stories at for feedback, approval, or general tearing-apartness, and while they do a fine job, I would still like to have a few more different perspectives on things. My projects are going to get larger in scope and (hopefully) require more rigorous editing, so a few more eyes on it would be welcome.

The requirements are:

  • A LiveJournal account. I put my beta-reader posts on my LJ, locked to a custom list, so you’ll have to have an account to see them.
  • The ability to articulate specifically what you like or don’t like about an idea or piece of writing. Neither “It rules!” nor “It sucks!” are particularly useful bits of feedback, while “I couldn’t make out who was supposed to be speaking each line in the interchange between Alex and Susan…” is. Also, while I’m not looking for people to just savage everything I write, the ability to be (gently) ruthless in the search of quality is a big plus.
  • You actually check LJ from time to time. 😉 Since the posts are closed, there won’t be Twitter announcements or the like for them.

The benefits are:

…uh…

You get to see the messy, unfinished part of my work? And listen to me ramble about the process, even more than I already do here?

Okay, yeah, it’s kind of a hard sell. But there are folks who like that sort of thing. 😉

Seriously tho, if you’re interested, please shoot me an e-mail at thegneech@gmail.com or leave a comment in my LiveJournal.

Suicide Prevention Walk

This Saturday (September 28th), Mrs. Gneech and I will both be participating in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention fundraising walk at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. If you’d like to help out or join in, please check out my fundraising goal page for details. This is the first time I’ve done one of these, but having lost a friend to suicide, it’s a cause I’d really like to help with. Big thanks to everyone involved!

That’s all for now! Keep being awesome, everyone. 🙂

-The Gneech

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Sep 07 2013

I’m Not In It For the Cookie

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When talking about problematic social stuff, there is a concept that gets thrown at me a lot which, depending on my mood at the time, occasionally really rankles. The first time I was really hit by it was some years ago now, when Drezzer Wolf was revealed to be gay in Suburban Jungle, and someone described him with a heavy sigh as “the obligatory alternate-lifestyle character.”

My own thoughts in response ran along the lines of: “‘Obligatory?’ I’m creating this comic in my own time and paying somebody else to host it– who the heck do you think I’m obliged to? Here’s a crazy thought: maybe Drezzer is gay because that’s what’s right for the character! So sorry you have to put up with a gay wolf in a furry comic, you poor old thing.”

In the years since then, I’ve seen this idea come up again and again, that there’s some kind of “obligation” to do what I consider basic decency, or that I’ll somehow “score points” for expressing an opinion (usually of a feminist or anti-racist variety).

To those who try to undermine my beliefs or opinions this way, I have only this to say: fuck you.

Seriously.

If you disagree with me, well fine, you disagree with me. Nobody agrees on everything. But at least have the common courtesy to work from the assumption that I say what I say because I mean it. There isn’t anyone in the world whose good graces I care about enough to espouse a cause I don’t believe in. I’ve quit jobs and dissolved friendships based on my convictions before and there’s no reason to think I won’t do so again.

Similarly, the other day an author I like awarded me what I assume was a feminist cookie for my comment that I don’t like being called a ‘brony’. I’m pretty sure she meant it in a friendly sort of way, but it still touched on that same nerve. It could be that I come across as looking for approval; I’ve never been very good at guessing how I appear in other people’s eyes. But really, I’m not.

I’m not in it for the cookie; I’m not obliged to anyone (except myself); and I’m not here to score points. If I wanted to fish for approval, there are much easier ways to get it than discussing these sorts of topics.

-The Gneech

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Sep 06 2013

Fictionlet

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“Exposure is the first step on the road to tolerance,” said Greg. “By spending time with people different from yourself, and getting to understand them, you learn to value who they are and what they believe.”

“Mmhmm…?” said Brigid.

“However, having spent the entire weekend at your family reunion, I have come to the conclusion that yes, you’re right, most of your family is made up of horrible people the world would be a better place without.”

“I told you,” said Brigid.

-The Gneech

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Sep 03 2013

A Half-Formed Thought re: Hugos and Fandom and Stuff

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Diversity in “the fandom” (by which I mean a broad umbrella term that encompasses SF, fantasy, comics, conventions, and such related geeky pursuits) is a big issue lately, which is an awesome thing. But it’s one of those things which, because it involves human beings, tends to be complex and confusing at times.

I’m thinking just this moment of John Scalzi, who picked up a Hugo at WorldCon for his book Redshirts. I have not read the book myself, but Mrs. Gneech has and declared it an enjoyable read– I don’t have any doubt that it deserves the award. And Scalzi is certainly someone who at least tries to champion the broadening of horizons.

And yet… well, and yet… given recent events, I’m not sure how I would feel in Scalzi’s place. Scalzi, like so many Hugo winners, is yet another privileged white dude, and on some level, does that cheapen the accomplishment, no matter how hard he may have busted to get it?

I ask this because, although I’m certainly nowhere near being in contention for a Hugo myself at the moment, given my upcoming career change it’s not an unreasonable goal for me to shoot for… and I am also yet another privileged white dude. Scalzi and I share a lot of qualities, and a lot of opinions, and a lot of sensibilities, so it’s not hard for me to project myself into that place and wonder how I would feel there.

Certainly if he has any of these thoughts, he hasn’t said so, and I honestly don’t know if it wouldn’t be churlish if he did. The whole topic is fraught with peril. If you are a Scalzi here, what are you supposed to do? Turn down the Hugo? Recuse yourself from the running all together and throw away a valuable career opportunity? Use the moment to call for change (while still benefiting from the system)? Or just do as he has done, smile and say “thank you” and be yet another privileged white dude who won an award when some other just-as-talented, just-as-worthy author not in that category didn’t?

I don’t have a good answer for this. I’m open to suggestions!

-The Gneech

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Sep 03 2013

Fictionlet

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Brigid slammed open the door. “Greg! Greg, you miserable little popinjay, don’t just sit there staring at me with your mouth hanging open, get up! Come on! We’re celebrating!”

Greg blinked at his obviously-already-sloshed roommate, as outside one of Brigid’s co-workers honked the horn of his car several times to hurry along proceedings. “Hello? What brings on all this indecent merriment?” said Greg.

“The entire office is having a party,” Brigid said, “and we’re all supposed to bring guests. Since I don’t have a date, I’m taking you. Now come on!”

“Yes, yes,” said Greg, standing. “I get that part. What I want to know is why?”

“It’s huge!” said Brigid. “It’s colossal. It’s a first in the entire history of the company and quite possibly in the history of American business!”

What is?” demanded Greg.

“You won’t believe it,” said Brigid. “I e-mailed a client about a work order they sent over…”

“Yes…?”

“And they sent me a reasonable response!”

Greg sank back into his chair. “…for real? You wouldn’t lie to me about something like this?”

“You should have seen my boss!” Brigid said. “She wept openly.”

“I don’t blame her,” said Greg.

-The Gneech

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