Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kick Ass

This weekend selection was Kick-Ass. It’s about a teenager who, with no superpowers or real ability to fight, decides to become a super hero. He them proceeds to meet weird people and get into trouble.

Before I saw this movie, I thought it was a comedy, sort of in the vein of Superbad, that same kind of humor. It was funny, yes, but there was a very serious side to it too.

Kick-Ass himself is a bit of a geek. I love geeks. Have I ever mentioned that before? Especially cute ones and Kick-Ass is very cute.

Wait. Isn’t he supposed to be a high school student? Crap. Does that make me a perve?

*checking IMDB for age*

Yes! Not a perve. He is actually 20 years old. Maybe I’m a little pervy but not overly.

Kick-Ass really can’t do much in the way of fighting. In the beginning, he’s just running around hitting people with sticks. He does move on to do more than that eventually.

There are a couple of other super heroes, Hit-Girl and Big Daddy. When Kick-Ass meets them, they are busy exacting revenge on the mafia for wrongs done to their family.

Hit-Girl, a girl who looks to be around ten years old, is very well trained and all too eager to impale, dismember, and/or serve up a lead salad. Her fight scenes are both fun to watch and cringe inducing. Seeing such a young person take out bad guys is sometimes mildly disturbing, especially because she does so with zero hesitation or remorse.

So, the movie was very good. I loved it all, despite occasionally being mildly disturbed. Kick-Ass gets an A.

Also, the sequel is scheduled for 2012.
Other places to find me:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

Monday, August 30, 2010


I am really tired all of a sudden. I have no idea where it came from, but fatigue just ran up and smacked me.

I received my proof copy of MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth today and so far, the book design looks flawless. Everything is centered up on the cover. The illustration on the table of contents page came out crystal clear, nothing is cut off. Ooh la la, I think the book is ready to go! I am very happy. I might post a camera phone picture of it later this week. I'm just too frickin' tired and lazy to do it right now.

However, I am not too lazy to post a rough sketch for another illustration. This is a fountain that is located in AnnaBeth's back yard/garden. I've noticed lately that there is something vaguely Asian about my drawing style. I'm not sure when or how I made that transition.

I'm not entirely happy with the bottom part of the fountain, so I may change it significantly between rough and finished digital illustration.
I keep trying to figure out how many sketches there will be in the finished special edition.
I'm still not sure exactly.
I will probably just keep doing sketches until I run out of time or ideas, whichever comes first.
I uploaded my first free eshort on Smashwords yesterday. As of a few minutes ago, a little less than 24 hours after I first posted it, there were 62 downloads and counting! Awesome! If only selling books were that easy. It's not, in case you were wondering, not for me anyway. : )
Need that link again? Here it is! http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/22933
Ok, I'm disgusted with talking about myself, so I'm out. I have a fountain to draw.
Tomorrow - thoughts on Kick Ass, I haz sum.
Other places to find me:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

Sunday, August 29, 2010

the first free eshort

Ok, here it is. My first free short story for download. Links below.


Kevin meets a mysterious girl in the park. When she invites him to accompany him to her home, he can’t resist. He soon finds that Amy has dark secrets.

A free eshort available for download at
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/22933


Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/doc/36599469/Amy-Scribd-Edition

This week - thoughts on Kick Ass and another rough illustration for MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth, and probably some other stuff.

Also, I am still searching for blog tour hosts for the week of September 13th. I can do an interview or a guest post or whatever. Hit me up if you're interested. I am now up to 3 confirmed stops so far! Woooo!!!

Other places to find me:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

Thursday, August 26, 2010

one mo

Here is one more rough sketch for the MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth. I should actually be working on the digital version of this right now.

Below is the paper rough. I usually sketch out a rough on paper with my very own flesh and blood hands and then trace/finish the picture on the computer in fireworks. Yeah, fireworks. I'm semi-old school like that.

This particular specimen is from a part of the book in which AnnaBeth is moving through a parallel, spirit realm type place. In the story, the eyes on the moth wings are blinking and such. There are actually several moths and they are noshing on some greenish roses. Have I mentioned my writing is a little bit on the strange side sometimes? Well, it is, sort of down the rabbit hole on occasion.

Sorry, this sketch is harder to see than the previous one. I used a mechanical pencil, which has a light touch.
Ok, so. Please don't forget to vote in the illustrated book edition poll on the right.
I may or may not pop in tomorrow evening, depending on whether I have that free download short story ready to go. I'm thinking that will be Sunday with an announcement on Monday.
I'm going to go finish this weird moth now.
Happy almost Friday.
Other places to find me:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I promised myself I wouldn't blog today

But I am anyway.

Why? Because today is the day of the nonexistent attention span. I should be working on a very strange illustration for the special edition of MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth. I am here instead.

Here is a rough draft for a different illustration for the book. Obviously, I haven't transferred it over to digital. Sorry for the crap quality. I took a picture of it with the camera instead of using the scanner. Some of the lines caught the camera flash and turned shiny. My daughter is begging me for the original so she can hang it in her room, which makes me feel supremely cool.

: )

The cat is named Dorian and the more ominous looking character on the top of the chest of drawers is Poe the crow. I named a bunch of characters in the novel after authors and characters from books because, well, I really like books. Poe is named after Mr. Edgar Allan and Dorian is named after Dorian Gray as in The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde.

Also, probably this weekend, I am posting my first free eshort on Smashwords, my website, and probably Scribd. I will announce it here when I do, so be sure to check back in on Monday for the link. bye bye now.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Clash of the Titans

I FINALLY saw Clash of the Titans last night. I can't believe it took us so long. I really wanted to see it in the theater, but we never made it.

Let me first say that I truly love the original Clash of the Titans from year. That is a classic work of cinema that should never be tampered with. My worst fear for the new version was that it would try too hard to be like the original.

It didn't.

In fact, there were few similarities. The primary conflict was the same - war between the gods and humans, impending doom, kracken, medusa head.

This new movie had no love connection between Perseus and the princess. Pegasus was brownish black instead of white and Perseus never had to capture it. There were also a bunch of new characters that contributed significantly to the story.

The new Clash of the Titans was better in some respects. First, the supporting character development was much, much better. In the original, the soldiers that accompanied Perseus to Medusa's lair felt more like expendable crew members (red shirts) than actual people. They were there so the audience got to see Medusa turn people to stone. The soldiers in the new version were far more meaningful to the story. One of them even served as a sort of father figure to Perseus.

Perseus' character had more personality too. He resented being a demigod and resisted help the gods offered.

I don't want to compare the special effects because there really is no comparison. Old school Clash of the Titans was genius beyond genius for its time. Everything was done by hand. That should always be appreciated and maybe even revered.


New Clash of the Titans was a more intense movie watching experience. Everything was bigger or shinier or whatever, you get the idea. There was much CGI fanciness.

The movie was very, very good. This one gets an A.

chanting: sequel, sequel, sequel
Other places to find me:
Babylon Dragon on Amazon:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

some book working updates

Alright, what do we have on the agenda for this most glorious of weeks?

First up, I submitted files for the paperback copy of MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth last night. I hope everything looks good when I receive it. I sometimes have trouble getting things centered up on the cover art.

Next, I am going to try and set up one of those amazon associates thingies to sell books through the blog. I hear tell it might improve profit margins. We'll see how that goes.

The biggest project for the next couple of weeks is illustration. I played with the idea of illustrating the AnnaBeth book from the beginning but decided that I didn’t want to do that. Now, I’ve changed my mind again.

I am now creating a super duper special illustrated edition of the book that will be sold through lulu only.

I wanted a hard cover copy with color illustrations, but it turns out that’s really frickin' expensive, like probably around $40 expensive. That is entirely too much. Now I have a decision to make.

I can keep the illustrated version within a more reasonsable price range but I have to give up either the hard cover or the color illustrations. They would be black and white in the hard cover.

So guess what. We have a poll this week! Now, now, don't be shy. You don't have to give up any info to vote. Which idea do we love best? There is a poll thingy over there on the right. Lemme know, yo.

Other places to find me:
Babylon Dragon on Amazon:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Runaways

The movie selection for this weekend was The Runaways, starring Kristen Stewart (of Twilight) as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie. The story is about the band, the Runaways, which was Joan Jett’s first band.

I didn’t really know a lot about the Runaways as a band. I love Joan Jett, but I’m only really familiar with her Joan Jett and the Blackhearts work. In this original band, Joan was the guitarist, not the lead singer. Cherie was the lead singer. Also, Lita Ford was in the band. I had no idea.

The movie chronicles (don’t know how much of the movie is based on truth) the time period from just before the band’s inception to the end of the band, and slightly beyond. There is plenty of rock and roll and debauchery. As per the usual implosion of a rock band, drugs and egos jam up the gears.

This movie was good, but it wasn’t great. It had a solid plot, good acting. There were some funny parts and some sad parts and some parts that people might find a bit on the ookie side, seeing as Dakota Fanning was ten years old like an hour ago, it seems. The final grade on this one is going to be a B-.

Other places to find me:
Babylon Dragon on Amazon:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

indie revew - The Tale of Spam City

The Tale of Spam City, by MT McGuire is a free e-short that I downloaded from smashwords.

The story begins in a parallel universe where Griselda the spam eating wench is a tad upset. For one cannot be a spam eating wench unless one eats some spam. She has not.

She, of this apparently halloween-esque parallel universe, travels to our universe to find some spam. She encounters some difficulties from cops to the cashier expecting to collect money in exchange for the spam.

One thing that I really liked about this story was the rythm of the writing. It read like a fairy tale.

I also enjoyed the strangeness of the parallel universe. There were a lot of imaginative details from the culture to the creatures.

The Tale of Spam City was a decent story. I think it could do with a slight edit, but it was good for a freebie.

Here is a link that will take you to the story -


Other places to find me:
Babylon Dragon on Amazon:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

wednesday tra la la

Today is the day of finishing my last readthru of the witch book! Aiiieeee! Any mistakes in there now are just going to have to be there. I am so fricking done.

Next things next. I have a long to do list.

I'm trying to hook up a blog book tour. I've never done that before so this should be an interesting experience. What is a blog book tour, you ask? A blog book tour is when an author goes rambling about the internet, appearing on various blogs by other people. From what I've seen the author contributes something in the way of content to the blog they're visiting, whether it's an interview or a guest blog post.

I am currently in the begging phase. I have one taker so far. So, if you have a blog and don't mind letting the riffraff (ie me) in for a day, hit me up! Lea-ryan@hotmail.com

I'm still on the hunt for a book reviewer too, professional, amateur, pretty much anyone. I can provide a free copy of the ebook in any one of a variety of formats.

What else is on the agenda? Ah yes, I have decided to release a hard cover edition of the book which will be available only through lulu. Special hardcover edition will have some extra artwork and will not be as flexible as the paperback. I am creating artwork for that this weekend.

Also on the to do list - ebook formatting! Can. You. Handle. The. Excitement?

Mmmm, ah, I will also be finishing the free short story ebook. That release will coincide with the the release of the AnnaBeth novel. The story will actually fall more in line with the classic horror genre than what I’ve written previously.

Plus I have some website design changes to make before the sept 15th online release party, probably more artwork. I really have a lot of drawing to do, basically. That's ok though because I have a fondness for drawing.

That's it for the book working updates.

BUT - I do have one more indie review for this month too. Some time within the next week or so, I will post something on The Tale of Spam City, by MT McGuire. This is another freebie I snagged on Smashwords.

Other places to find me:
Babylon Dragon on Amazon:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

Monday, August 16, 2010

Youth in Revolt

This weekend movie selection was Youth in Revolt.

The movie is about an awkward teenage boy who finds the girl of his dreams while on vacation. When he is forced to leave her behind, he devises a plan to reunite with her. Part of that plan involves him getting into as much trouble as possible and to do that, he adopts a secondary persona he calls Francois.

While Michael Cera does a fine job of acting, part of me wonders how long he'll be able to pull off these cutesy teenage love stories that seem to have become his thing. I mean, the man is 22.

Other stars gracing this DVD include: Ray Liota, Jean Smart, Steve Buscemi, Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Justin Long and Fred Willard.

Youth in Revolt is very quirky and funny. There were a couple of very weird animation sequences, which worked okay in this movie. I give it a B+.

Also, Michael Cera looks a bit like a triCERAtops. Hmmm, is the name intentional? I think so.

the writing closet

Lately, I've been trying to get over my insecurities with this whole writing thing. I know, someone publishing their second book probably shouldn't have much insecurity left. Well I do.

There are a lot of people I know who don't know that I write. I didn't tell them. Why? Mostly because I still hang on to this fear that I suck. I don't think my writing sucks, but other people might.

The business girl part of me is wondering what the heck is wrong with the timid writer part of me. This shyness is counterproductive to the goal of selling books. This is why having someone else handle the business portion of the business is good. Too bad there's also a control freak in the mix.

With the release of MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth, I'm creeping a bit further out of the writing closet. I'm going to actually tell some additional people (not everyone) about the book. There will probably follow-up questions but I think I can handle them.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Disaster at Minotaur Meats

Today I read Disaster at Minotaur Meats by Matthew Sawyer.

The story is about two teenage brothers who get jobs at the meat plant their mother used to work at. Minotaur Meats isn't just a creative name for the plant. The plant actually started out selling minotaur meat that people ate.

That in itself is a very interesting concept – the slaughter of mythical creatures for our consumption. The author calls the people who eat that meat 'pseudo-cannibals' because the minotaur is, you know, half bull and half human.

Minotaur Meats no longer sells minotaur meat due to some nasty side effects consumers experienced. The business, headed by a man named Mr. Brink, has moved on to slaughtering another creature called a tomga. It’s sort of like a rat but infinitely more disgusting.

So the teenage boys are hired to hunt down the tomga that escape the meat plant. And boys will be boys, they end up making some trouble.

The tomga aren’t the only monsters. Also present is the uber cold-hearted business, which is just as bad, if not worse than the rats.

The author of this story did a great job grossing out with vivid descriptions of the detestable critters. The story was deliciously morbid and really what I hoped for with respect to plot.

If you haven’t yet read Disaster at Minotaur Meats, it is available for download at www.smashwords.com

Other places to find me:
Babylon Dragon on Amazon:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

life shakeups

Lately, I've been thinking about how my life has consisted of the same activities for some time. I am very much a girl with a routine. I've been trying to figure out how I could change things up a bit so I don't die of boredom.

Then change found me.

My tortoise that I had for 13 years died. He was an old boy but energetic and fun. I'll miss him.

I lost contact with my only friend who is a gamer. Now I have have absolutely no one to talk about video games with, which makes me really sad. I have zero geek friends. Can you take out a personal ad for that? Married female seeking friends who gravitate toward video games, scifi, and/or movies? I know I can hit message boards but it's not the same.

I did go out to a bar on Saturday night for a while, so that was fun. I have a friend who apparently gets paid to sit and eat taco salads and drink beer and "make sure everyone is doing what they're supposed to be doing". She is a bar babysitter. And she gets paid for it. How do you even get a job like that? And after you get the job, how do you avoid gaining 300 pounds?!?!

The out of the ordinary things haven't all been great necessarily. I guess I asked for it though. I continue to look for ways to shake things up, preferably ways that do not entail death. This weekend, if the heat isn't too intense, I'm thinking of taking the children to the new sculpture park and maybe somewhere else fun.

As for book working, I'm putting the final touches on MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth. I'm looking for someone to review it. The optimal siuation would be to have a review ready when the novel is released. If anybody knows anybody that can hook up the underdog indie author, that would be the dandiest thing of all. Seriously, a journalist type, a blogger, pretty much anybody with some place they write things that other people read would be great.

I plan to start reading Disaster at Minotaur Meats (from Smashwords) probably the day after tomorrow, or maybe the day after that, depending on how fast I finish working on my book. So don't forget to download it and give it a read if you're interested in commenting. Anyone except for those weird dating service message board spammers is welcome.

Other places to find me:
Babylon Dragon on Amazon:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

That's all I have for now.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Indie Reviews for this Month

Woo! Better late than never.

Apparently no indie writers wanted to have their book reviewed this month because I had zero submissions. Seriously, if you want your book reviewed next month, please submit the synopsis on the Book Reviews section of my website - http://www.LeaRyan.com
I don't bite. I'm not trying to rip anyone off. I do this shiz for free, with the exception of a copy of the ebook so I can read it.

Due to lack of submissions, I chose a couple of freebies from SmashWords.com. If you would like to download them and read along and comment on the reviews, please do! I actually think that would be pretty cool, and I'm sure the authors would appreciate it.

The first review will be on a short story called Minotaur Meats, by Matthew Sawyer. The second will be on a longer short story called The Tale of Spam City, by MT McGuire.

I have to finish my last readthru of MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth and then I will start reading Minotaur Meats.

Other places to find me:
Babylon Dragon on Amazon:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

Mr. Brooks

I intended to post something about the movie Mr. Brooks earlier this week, but I didn't. So now I am.

My husband and I watched the movie Mr. Brooks last weekend. It's somewhat similar to the show Dexter on Showtime. A killer tries to keep his dirty habit of killing people while living a regular life.

The movie stars Kevin Costner as Mr. Brooks and Jeff Bridges as his super helpful dark passenger (the killer part of him) named Marshall. The two of them have conversations that no one around them seems to hear. The exchanges between the two of them really make the movie. They are funny and insightful. Marshall often offers advice.

Dane Cook stars as a regular guy who happens to catch Mr. Brooks doing his killing thing. Rather than turn him in to the cops, he wants in on the murder action. He does the serious role thing well.

That's just one of the several problems Mr. Brooks faces over the course of the story. This is probably the best movie I've seen in a long time. It gets major A+.

Other places to find me:
Babylon Dragon on Amazon:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thursday updates

Workout marathon update - This is the last week. Thank God. Working out is eating my writing time. And I haven't lost any weight. In fact, I ate 5 chocolate chip cookies over the course of 3 days and gained 2 pounds. If my metabolism slows down any more, I will have to give up solid food entirely. So, workout marathon day 18, yesterday was 30 min of free step on the wii fit, today was yoga.

In book working news, I'm pretty sure that I'm dropping a writing project. I haven't written too much. I was kind of iffy about it to start with. I think it's a good idea. I just...I guess I don't think I could write this particular thing well. I'm pressed for time on other projects that are more important to me. I think I'm ready to let go.

In other news here is the cover art for the witch book!
As you can see, the book is entitled MacDowell Sisters & AnnaBeth. It will go straight to Amazon and SmashWords. There will probably be no lulu availability this time around. I might change my mind though, so don't hold me to that.

I have a few surprises for release week, which should be around mid-september, so be sure to check back here or at my website. Freebies are involved.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I eff up marvelously. Seriously, I am a true artist.

I have mentioned before that I recently changed both the title and the cover for my debut novel. This has caused just about every kind of problem you think it possibly could.

Today I searched Barnes and Noble to see if the Babylon Dragon ebook is listed there. If you publish through smashwords premium collection thingy, it's listed automatically at Barnes and Noble online.

Oh baby, it's on there and is it glorious. I posted a screenshot below for your viewing enjoyment.

Here we have the same book, new title listed in the text, and the OLD cover with the OLD title. YES! How fantastic. If messing up was an olympic sport, I would get perfect 10s all around.

I really hope this blog entry isn't coming off bitchy because I really do think my mistakes, especially such public ones, are very funny. I mean, come on, who does stuff like that?

Monday, August 2, 2010

animal arch enemies

Have you ever noticed that lots of people (maybe everyone?) has a member of the animal kingdom that they pretty much detest?

For instance, mine is the mosquito. The very sight of one instantly sends me into a bug murdering rage. I won't even take the time to find an implement with which to kill the mosquito. They get the bare hand slap. Oh yea, guts on the hand, anything to keep that little effer from possibly escaping. Spiders are on a catch and release program in my house, but mosquitos? Hell no.

My husband hates oppossums because he thinks they're repulsive and mean, which they probably are. The mere thought of an opposum causes him to shudder in disgust. I'm not sure he experiences animal murdering rage at the sight of one, but I'm not totally sure he would avoid hitting one with a car, unless he was worried about damaging the car.

My dad isn’t particularly fond of goats. I think he has had some bad experiences though. That one might be justifiable on some level.

I think almost everyone has that one lowly creature that hits a nerve for one reason or another, or maybe no real reason at all. Why do we single out a particular creature like that? Especially those of us that haven’t had a bad experience with that certain type of animal?

Just wondering.

Other places to find me:
Babylon Dragon on Amazon:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1