Okay People Listen Up!


Mystics and Misfits by Robert Garbin

Whoo Hoo, I am officially published on Kindle.  I had to put the cover in here because apparently it takes a few days for that to set up on Amazon.com, but who cares.  I am published and on Amazon.  I wondered if I would ever get to this point.  Basically, I was holding back for a few reasons.

I really wanted to add one more story to make the collection about 80,000 words; however, with everything going on, I decided it was now or never.  It just leaves room for a second collection.  Also, there is at least one novella/book sitting half finished in my head.  Another thing holding me back was the formatting for Kindle and other Ebook options.  I was only working with Word Starter and could not figure out how to make the clickable table of contents.  Even with the generous help of my friend Nila I was still stuck because I thought I needed a full version of Word to create the table.  So, I finally bit the bullet and purchased a full version of office.  Funny thing though, after I worked it out, I decided that I could have done it on Word Starter.

Yeah.  Well, them’s the breaks and at least I got moving again, but wait.  I then discovered a feature that I do not believe is available on Starter, which is that Word can actually read your writing out loud to you.   I was really concerned about delivering a quality product but could not afford to have it professionally edited.  Through the years of working on this collection, I have had help from friends and have used Word to catch a lot of things but I really feared missing stupid stuff you correct as you read to yourself.  So I ran one final spell check and was prepared to send it as is.  Then I saw the reading feature and decided to give it a try.  I was amazed at how well it does, even with my strange character names.  In addition, there is nothing like hearing a story to feel how good or clunky a sentence or paragraph sounds.  I was able to correct so much by this method, including comma placement.  One story I kept typing “bother” instead of “brother” and it was glaring.

So, while I felt like a dope for springing for a full version of Word, I was very grateful in the end.  Now, here we are, with a short story collection available for purchase.  Years of doubt, dreams, and ideas ready to be devoured by you and the rest of the world.  A total of 12 short stories, three that actually combine into a complete novella.  Some have been on this blog in earlier forms but have been expanded on, while others never have been.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Let’s Go Jellyfish Hunting Mr. Squarepants


Here is the second part of the acrylic panes project.  On each pane I drew on only the part of the image of a jellyfish I created that would be visible if the object was three dimensional.  When these are eventually painted the image will have a limited three dimensional look to it.  I also intend to place an LED behind the second layer to create a glow.  This is really just a test of concept and exploration of processes for creating these on a regular basis.  I have already decided to use thinner sheets of acrylic without cutting them up to make the process better.  But for now, I need to see this to conclusion before planning ahead.

Reading Minds is Easy, Scrubbing Them Clean Again Sucks

I recently found the old drawings and concept work I did for my painting Sanity.



I had done these in pencil and colored marker long before I learned how to digital paint.  I liked them but they were not going to be good enough to use as a cover for the story “Sanity” (about mind reading aliens) I had written and certainly not for use as a book cover for my collection of short stories titled “Mystics and Mistics”.  I am currently trying to figure out the formatting needed to place the book on Amazon Kindle Store.  Wish me luck.

Vivid Artistic Dreaming

So, wow, I had one heck of a vivid dream last night.  This one will be hard to explain and get the feelings across.  It starts out with me working on a project in my studio, which appeared to be part of what seemed like a commune/community of artists inside of a unique space.  If you ever get the chance to read the book “The City of Dreaming Books” by Walter Moers (reviewed here – The City of Dreaming Books), the scenes under the city towards the end of the book where books line passages and caverns closely replicates my dream.  Another reference would be the Library World Tad Williams created in his Otherland saga.

Anyway, I am working on my project on a table that itself has been covered with a work of my art.  There are other tables near me containing additional parts of this artwork and I am talking to someone who is admiring it.  Sometime later I decide to go looking for more art supplies.  From my space, a tunnel on my right with an entrance cutting through the floor leads down and to my left, another tunnel slopes upward.  I take the upward path and enjoy looking at all the artwork hanging on the walls.  Following the path, I reach a space that opens into a vaulted ceiling but the walls of the passage continue into the space.  Other levels above the path can be seen.  The right side of the passage is covered in shelves containing all kinds of paints in jars.

I find want I want and show it to some people who know me, who congratulate me on my find.  I then return to my space to find my dad checking out my art, which I explain and show to him.  He finally, gives me the praise he has never shown me before.  At this point something happens that makes everyone start and look around frantically.  We then discover that some giant beast, like an alligator, has come looking for a glowing gem that has been hidden in the place by the artists to affect creativity.  As the ground shakes I see the gem rolling down the wall behind the canvas of a painting.  I grab it because the motion of the gem is drawing the attention of the beast.

Of course, in dream logic, I see the beast through a conveniently placed window that was not there before.  It is dark outside so I am given only glimpses of the creature, which is massive, and its glowing eye.  From there there are many adventures of avoiding the beast ending in a close call that I escape.  Unfortunately, this is where I wake up.  Most people forget their dreams and usually I do to; however, some are so vivid that they last longer and sometimes they spur on creativity.  One such dream lead to my trilogy of novellas entitled Dragon Dreams.  Another one inspired the unfinished story titled “Above These, Love”.  Whether this dream will inspire anything will remain to be seen but at least it caused me to create this post.  I hope you enjoy it.


Art has Layers, Onions have Layers, End of Story, Bye, Bye

Well, I have finally prepped the plexiglas for the 3-d painting project. May need some more polishing and I have learned that I have to figure better ways of cutting and drilling. I managed some scratching through the work that I don’t want to have on future projects. I am; however, happy with the results. I also have extra room on the bolts if I want to increase the spacing between plates. Now to think of the image.

Well, What were you thinking?

I am currently reading “Oathbringer” by Brandon Sanderson, which is full of ideas that have been causing little explosions in my thoughts. As many in the past have noted, science fiction and fantasy can be used well to highlight problems in the real world. By assigning loathsome actions to aliens or creatures, authors can separate the issue from trigger personalities making people a little more willing to listen. I don’t want to imply that Mr. Sanderson is trying to make any particular points with his Cosmere universe, but because of the vast web he is creating there will be some ideas of his that will creep in.

I find it fascinating to see all the theolocical and secular concepts being examined throught the many series in this universe, especially the over-aching premise. However, the real reason for this post is to talk about my own writing. I know it has been a while but writing is still on my mind even if I haven’t done any for some time. Most of my artwork contains some kind of story to it. Anyway, the thought I wanted to express is that much of my writing is a reflection of my way of thinking.

I like to explore lots of ideas and my writing will reflect that. My stories are greatly varied as a result. For the most part; however, you will see two themes running through them, one, isolation/outsider and two, challenging assumptions. These are issues I deal with everday and struggle to express. So, if you ever get a chance to read something of mine, watch for these themes.

Moving into the Nth Dimension

It is like Someone Poured Milk into the Rice Krispies of my Mind

This is a link to a post I did back in July of 2019 after I had seen the embedded video.  The artist had painted layers of an image on different panes of glass so that when they were stacked together they formed a complete image of an animal.  Ever since watching that video I have wanted to do something similar myself.  Well, today I finally took the first step.  I had purchased a 12×12 inch piece of Plexiglas so I could experiment but needed to break it down to four pieces for the layers.  That is now done.  I have some trimming and sanding to do to have them ready for painting along with drilling the holes for the bolts and spacers that will hold the stack in place.  Nothing fancy since this is a test but I do want to try taking this a step further by adding light.  My plan is to use a battery powered led I purchased as a test to light behind the first layer.  My guess is that, even if I am happy with the results, I will have to look for better, cleaner ways to achieve the effect.  I have my eye on a jellyfish or octopus image for this.

Expanding Cloud of Star Dust


Making some progress with this painting.  I have spent some time on the right top tentacle but the majority of the work has gone into the background rock between the right set of tentacles.  It seems to help me ground the image and connect the starfish to the rock by doing a little of both.  Besides, I need a break from all those hard bits.  There are just so many.