This is a piece of artwork I created some time back. It’s a mixture of the rich and stark topography I caught while riding my horse through the Okavango Delta, which is situated in the northern reaches of Botswana, and a few ideas I had about a fictional character that eventually came to life in the novel Among The Wild. This little drawing, entitled Blood Ride, depicts a boy and his horse lost in a harsh and vivid landscape. The young rider is given a glimpse of hope with the last flickers of light before day’s end.
Romantic graffiti scribbled across bathroom walls that could lead to true love someday, Hemingway’s rampaging Twitter addiction (not to mention his overuse of hashtags) and the massive rate of objectionable incarceration in the United States, along with a description of the joys derived from a possible zombie apocalypse are just some of the riveting subjects I’ve tackled during the recent course of my philosophical musings.
If you’d like to enter the wandering and speculative mind of someone who should probably focus less on idiosyncratic topics and write more about … well, world peace or organic farming, perhaps, then these Huffington Post articles just might be up your alley. At the very least, they should be good for a few laughs — except the piece about American prisons. Tragic irony is already built into that one.
The stories populating the illustrated children’s book Raindrop’s World take place in a universe where ants and beetles have four limbs rather than six, and sport long eyebrows and full lips. These beautiful and strange insects even know how to talk, which they do every chance they get.
The illustrations and storyline were created with the notion that these tales should appeal to the young and the old alike. It really shouldn’t matter if you’re six or fifty-six. These playful adventures ought to have something in them for just about everyone (unless the poor reader suffers from myrmecophobia – also known as the fear of ants).
The premise of this first book, and the books to come, is fairly simple. A small colony of leafcutter ants, only a few years out living on their own, has founded an ‘alternative’ civilization in the rainforest. They’re trying to mix the old ways with the new, although this won’t happen without some serious conflict with other ants of a different mindset, not to mention wild encounters with some of the most dangerous creatures inhabiting the Amazon River Basin, including anacondas, vampire bats, armadillos, mentally unstable finches and terrifying zombie ants (which really do exist).
Now that Barack Obama is in his second presidential term, it might be time to address the harsh rumors surrounding his birth. I have no doubt that he was born in Hawaii, but as far as his forefathers are concerned, folks might want to look farther afield. Perhaps the distant planet of Gallifrey would be a good place to start. Only a Time Lord could be as cool under fire as Mr. Obama seems to be. I wonder if he keeps a sonic screwdriver in his pocket as well…
I’ve been working on various book projects involving art, animated characters and cover design during the last few months in my spare time. Here are just a few samples among many. While they are far from perfect, and my rusty drawing technique needs a bit of brushing up, most of the illustrations came out all right. At least I think they did. Right now, I’m toiling away on some back and white designs, cartoons and other art pieces for a new project that’s coming up. It will be a bit more serious in nature than my children’s novella Raindrop’s World, but it will still maintain a humorous edge. I’ll also have some help on this one, to make the work as solid as possible.
Tree frogs are brilliantly colored amphibians that live most of their lives in the trees, of course, or around other types of vegetation. These tiny animals love the water, and like to keep their skin moist, which is vital to their survival. The array of colors that decorates their flesh helps them overpower the vision of would-be predators, giving clever little tree frogs just enough time to leap out of the way (usually).
You can find tree frogs all over the planet, as long as the local environment doesn’t get too cold, and there is at least some water to be found. These creatures need to splash about now and again, even though there are a few species of tree frogs that live in the dry desert. The amphibians that dwell in places where water is scarce have developed special adaptions to help them hold onto the water they do have, until they are able to find more. And just so you know, these amphibians don’t drink water like human beings, or cats. Instead, they make use of their porous skin, which allows water to seep right through.
In addition to their permeable skin, tree frogs are also the proud owners of exceptionally long toes, with special ‘sticky’ toe pads. These toe pads make it easy for frogs to climb big trees, and move across branches and slippery leaves. Tree frogs are some of the best climbers around. They do like to work their way up to some pretty amazing heights.
When the sun goes down, tree frogs become very active. These nocturnal animals head out into the night in search of good things to eat, like crickets and moths. The same skin that helps them hide from predators makes it easier for them to sneak up on their prey, and get hold of a tasty treat. With a flash of its tongue, a tree frog can snatch an insect up for lunch, and satiate its hunger.
If you’d like to read more about the creatures living in the rainforest, please visit Raindrop’s World, where you can learn about insects, reptiles and mammals, and so much more.