Tuesday, August 26, 2014


So, some years back, I had an idea for a vampire comic book, and I worked on it for a couple of years with another artist friend of mine.  Unfortunately, that friend really didn’t love comic art, so we parted ways and this project has lived in my head without an artist for more years.

And then, upon having my cover redone by the amazing and talented Slake Saunders (some NSFW art there)—who has a wicked comic sense to her art—I had the chance to hang out with her and tell her about my sad, artist-less comic.

She loved what I was describing!

So, I sent her character descriptions and what I had for a script.  Email after email, I got to see these characters come to life through Slake’s art.  Really, it was like she plucked the faces and pictures right out of my head!  She sent me thumbnails of Aurelio’s and Sophia’s expressions for some of the scenes, and I was like, YESYESYESYES!!!!!

Now, after almost a year of prep, we’re finally ready to announce AURELIO! 

The comic pages will start going live as of Monday, October 27, 2014, and we will be hosting the comic through Patreon.  You can get to it via www.TheVampireAurelio.com

Aurelio Sangreleyes is a Justicar, a vampire whose job it is to police vampiric relations with humans and other magickal creatures.  He’s been sent by the Council of Matrons to Boca Raton, Florida, to investigate a new street drug that is being made with vampire venom. During his investigation, he grabs a bite to eat from the wrong witch and finds himself cursed by her blood—he is now the sole protector of the witch’s 15-year-old daughter, Sophia. And the girl’s father is a fallen angel, a creature vampires are forbidden against acting against.  Now Aurelio must deal with the black market venom trade while also protecting Sophia from being kidnapped and dragged to hell by her unholy father.  Oh, and Sophia has her own plans about this mess, too.

The comic, itself will be free, but if you want to help us and get more awesomeness, be a patron for as little as $2 a month!  We’ll make it worthwhile with bonus art and writing.

And if you’re going to be at DragonCon this weekend, I’ll have special Aurelio postcards at the HWA fan table and wherever I am around the con!

Thank you, in advance for any support you can give!


Trish and Slake

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pouring a Bucket of Ice on #IceBucketChallenge

Go ahead, call me a spoil-sport. I’ve got some calling out to do of my own.

First, some time ago, I wrote a blog on stupid “Awareness” campaigns for breast cancer, where people Vague-booked stuff to supposedly raise awareness of breast cancer. You might remember the color-of-your-bra campaign (which bothered several breast cancer survivors who no longer wore bras, I may add), the “where I put my purse” posts, or the random fruit posts.

Wait, you forgot about them? Great awareness, huh.

In any case, we’re going through another bout of “Awareness” raising.

Do you know what ALS is?
It’s also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. And from ALSA.org, here is the definition:
Just what is ALS?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons  die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
It’s a horrible disease, and there is limited treatment. It is a good cause to support. I’m not arguing any of that.  In fact, if you want to actually make a difference, here’s a direct link to their donation form!

Taking five minutes to donate five dollars and sharing that you donated $5 goes way further than, say, daring someone to pour a freaking bucket of ice on their head. Really. After this fad is over, who will still remember what ALS stands for? Most people have forgotten that it’s the same thing as Lou Gehrig’s disease and what this awful disease did to him. There will be a memory of people pouring ice over their head, not what it’s for.

So, no. I don’t accept your damned #icebucketchallenge.

I’ll write a blog post that explains the disease and gives people ways to actually help. I think that is more useful than pouring ice over my head.

Furthermore, what gives you—anyone—the right to demand I give $100 to a cause not of my own damned choosing?

This is what gets me the most about this. Do you know that I’ve supported ALS already? Several times, in fact, through staying up for 24 hours blogging? Sharing other information?  And even if I didn’t, do you have any idea how much money I’ve given to animal rescue? To cancer research? To hospice care? To individuals directly who were dying of cancer, families who have lost their breadwinner, authors about to lose their homes because we get sh*t for pay and insurance? Have you any idea?

No, no you don’t. For the individuals, I give anonymously. For the stuff I keep receipts for because it can be deducted for taxes? None of your damned business.

So don’t demand I give $100 that I do not currently have if I don’t decide to do some silly action.

You want to go on a 5K to raise $ and awareness for ALS, if that’s your preferred charity, I’ll dig into my wallet and support what I can. Same for hunger. And, because I’m selfish and know even more people affected by cancer, more than a few who have recently died, I’ll give even more if you’re doing a cancer walk. Hell, I might even join you.  That gets something accomplished. And that’s YOUR choice; you’re just asking me for support. And I support a lot.

Just don’t freaking TELL me what I have to donate for! Don’t give me a freaking “do this or else” ultimatum. Don’t guilt me over it.

Then you’re just pissing me off.

I was at a party recently with someone who had a form of ALS. The person said something to the effect of, “If people wanted to really help ALS, they’d film themselves staring at the bucket of ice and then making the $100 donation.”

Do you have the spare $100? Can you do that? Then don’t assume I can, either!

I refuse the #icebucketchallenge, and I certainly am not challenging anyone to do that.

If you want to help, here’s the donation link again. ALSA has a 30% overhead for running their organization, which is a % I can live with supporting. (And if you don’t know the overhead of the charity you’re giving to, find out. Some non-profits have 80%-90% overhead, so a whopping 10 cents of every dollar actually goes to HELP PEOPLE. Research!)

I’m all for people helping fund research for a cure or helping those afflicted with the disease get through their life. Go donate.

Leave the damned ice for chilling drinks.

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