A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Five: Blog Twenty-Six)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Five: Blog Twenty-Six)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series

“You look like a sick peacock!” ‘Wheel Turner’ shouts at the bird as she runs after it.

“Barthadrow’s barrel!” the bird screams back at her and makes a spitting sound.

“I give up,” ‘Wheel Turner’ says turning her back to the bird and taking a seat beside Oli.

Oli passes her some mulberries.  “Best we keep going,” she says getting up and dusting herself off.

“Aye,” ‘Wheel Turner’ replies with a sigh.  “Work, work, work, is all we do.”

“It’s a sad world,” Oli sings as she playfully nudges ‘Wheel Turner’ with her shoulder.  “Crazy Bumbee had it right,” she continues to sing as they trudge deeper into the forested area of the atoll.

Captain Crazy Bumbee he was

Flirted with our Captain

Tried touching without her consent

And our Captain in her wisdom

Gave him a permanent grin

Oh, Crazy Bumbee

We miss your cackle

We miss your wild tales

We miss even the madness in your eyes

Captain Crazy Bumbee he was

Smiling all the while

As he and his insane crew

Shot through the rapids

In sealed barrels

Right over the watery precipice

Of the Endless Waterfalls

“Lovely song First Mate,” ‘Wheel Turner’ says as they work their way to the top of the ridge that surrounds the atoll.

“Been working on it, silently, inside my head,” Oli replies with a prideful grin.

Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis:  taynorris@gmail.com

With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com;

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;

Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier:  http://fireandsteel.ca/

Alex Watt for background pictures

Daiana Duca for background pictures

Kitchener Comic Con is this weekend at Kitchener City Hall (200 King Street 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.). After that I’ll be blogging The Gothic Horror Musical “Hierarchy of the Undead”

Hierarchy of the Undead


Photo of the road to Castle Ward taken by Leah Weir, January 2018.

Castle Ward is located in the village of Strangford of County Down in Northern Ireland.  The Hierarchy of the Undead is in no way associated with the castle, we just wanted locations and buildings with a Gothic feel to them.  The Ward family took over what was originally Carrick na Sheannagh, owned by the Earls of Kildare in 1570.

The North Shield: A City Under Siege by William Byrne (Guest writer and artist)

This is the Intro to a friend’s Superhero story.  Check out his links at the bottom!

Thought they killed him, but they were wrong… Rising from the ashes to be found by a secret government agency under the streets of the Toronto as he struggles to understand and cope with his newfound abilities.

He will be trained by a battle scarred WW2 French Canadian superhero/spy and armed with an alien battle-suit.

He will claim back his new home from the dark tyranny that threatens to destroy the city.

He will become the hero the city/country and the world needs!!

Canada will be celebrating its 150th in 2017 and what a better way to introduce a truly new  Canadian Superhero then on its birthday on July 1st!!!


You can contact William directly at:  wbyrne@live.ca

Check out the link’s below to find out more about The North Shield (just cut and paste on Google):



Interview with Bill in the 90’s about his Max Burger P.I.


Self-Publishing: Going to Comic Con

Self-publishing: Table at Comic Con

Pre Set-up for Kitchener Comic Con April 2nd 2016

My brother Andy suggested we do a pre-set up.

T-shirts on racks; posters by Ian G.; posters in frames; and books with business cards in front.

Hidden is a price list, calculator, and cash box.


This was not only the first time with a table at Comic Con but my first time ever going to a Comic Con, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

2016 Kitchener Comic Con table

Our table:  caedar-writing-artwork.com

This my stressed out look because I have no idea what’s going to happen now that we’re here.

I have to say the other vendors were very helpful and I learned a great deal from their displays.

Penney's Steampunk General Store penneys@bell.net
Handmade jewelry. Penney’s Steampunk General Store penneys@bell.net.

This couple makes jewelry.

Underworld Larp PR@LARP.CA
Live Adventure with Underworld LARP pr@larp.ca.

This group does live D&D weekends.  www.LARP.ca

Knightmares & Daydreams rotaruc@msn.com
People loved this stand. Knightmares & Daydreams rotaruc@msn.com.

Knightmares and Daydreams


This couple were our neighbors and very friendly and very busy for most of the day.

We didn’t make a lot of money but we had a great time meeting people and other vendors.  What we did learn was, most people who go to Comic Con want to buy books or comics of pre-established companies, such as, Marvel and DC.  They want to be able to dress up like the characters they read about.  Finally, we should have dressed up like the characters.

A table for 2 is more expensive (it was $100 for Kitchener Comic Con this year) but I would recommend you get a table for 2.  When it’s slow you have someone to talk to and you have someone to watch the table if you need to use the facilities or take a lunch break.

Next Up!  Writing a story for Young Adults:  Healing The Temple Of The Soul

Self-Publishing: Comic Con: T-shirts

Self-Publishing: Comic Con: T-shirts            September 21, 2016


Kitchener Comic Con was April 2nd of this year.  It was around February when I decided to get a table.  Not a lot of time to design and order books, business cards, and T-shirts.


The more colours, the higher the cost; so I went with two colours for each T-shirt.  Ruby is black and red (on a white T-shirt) and Sylvia is black and green (on a white T-shirt).  I focused more on the artwork and less on the sayings.

Leah Weir wearing both Ruby and Sylvia from the Children of the Myth Machine T-shirts

My helpers Andraya and Kaitlyn between a girl who lets you sign your name on her arm. The girls wouldn’t tell me who the girl was, said I wouldn’t understand.

My helpers Andraya and Kaitlyn wearing T-shirts with mysterious girl.


Taylor Norris, RMT and me wearing the T-shirts for our Health and Exercise Blog twhealthhumor.com

Most people felt comfortable wearing the Sylvia T-shirts.


I went with 4imprint for the Sylvia T-shirts and R&S Screening Inc. for the Ruby T-shirts.  Both these companies were great.  They asked for a download of the art and lettering and e-mailed me a copy to make sure it was correct.  PDF is generally accepted and the more pixels the better.


Some things to consider is:  who will wear the T-shirts; is it the artwork or the logo and sayings that should be dominant; what are the preferred colours?  What sizes are the most common and should they be generic or male and female and do you want T-shirts, polo-shirts, etc. printed.


Get a few T-shirts made if you can or print them yourself before doing it en masse.  I had very little time to prepare; take your time to figure out what will sell.


Next Blog: what else you’ll need

Comic Con, Kitchener: Posters

September 19, 2016

If you are using artwork, the larger the reproduction the greater chance for graininess.  A graphic artist can only do so much.

20×66” or 51×66 cm Poster             5.5×8.5” or 14×21.5 cm Book Cover

I was very lucky to have the posters done by Ian G.  They’re photographs so the actual posters are brighter than what you see.

These pictures are from pre-display set-up (another Blog).  The posters giver you a better idea of how they actually look.

What we found was that Ruby, when blown up past a certain point, looked grainy.  Sylvia, because Randy (the artist) drew mostly her head on 11×14” (28×35.5 cm) paper whereas in Ruby, on the same size sheet, he drew the Queen’s entire body with background.

Ian made a number of samples and sizes.  My brother Andy, put them up on a wall and asked people to say what they liked, based on first impression.

We also made 8.5×11” (21.5×28 cm) posters in both colour and black and white for Sylvia and Ruby with just colour.

Next Blog is designing T-shirts and getting them printed this coming Saturday…

Asking Someone to Model for the Artwork on Your Cover

September 17, 2016


Asking Someone to Model for the Artwork on Your Cover


Somewhere on the Internet there are people willing to let you use their image for artwork.  If you find these websites remember life is about reciprocity.  Give them credit and pay them.

I asked friends to model.  The reason is you can bring them along for the ride.  Sam Nichols didn’t just model for Sylvia from the Children of the Myth Machine series, she also came to Kitchener Comic Con (that will be its own Blog).

Caedar Writing and Artwork mythruin@gmail.com

I offer a token amount of money to everyone I ask to model, and include their contact information.

The person I’m asking to model has the essence and fits the physical characteristics of the character in the book.

Be specific with the model.  “Here is the still action pose I am looking for in the picture.”  Short sleeve, shorts, pants, sandals, shoes, belly is showing/ isn’t.  Artists will add or subtract clothing and items.  It’s the pose and facial features that are most important for the picture, not necessarily the exact costume or lighting.

Still action draws people in.  When you look at a movie poster it’s a snapshot of something happening.  Ask someone to model who will put passion into their posing for the camera.  The better you explain the scene the easier it is for them to pose.

Taylor Norris portraying the AI transpecies, Whispers, in a future science fiction book called Brackish.


Taylor Norris as Whispers (for a story in progress).  Taylor owns the rights to this picture and it may not be reproduced without her explicit permission.


Taylor did more than twenty poses until we decided on this one.  The lighting is poor and the background doesn’t fit the scenario of the world Brackish.  That’s what the artist adds later.

When I asked one individual to model she told me she didn’t feel comfortable modelling nude.  I couldn’t remember ever asking her to pose nude for the photo that the artist would use.

Some artists prefer their models nude.  People draw nudes in art classes.  The backlash from asking someone to pose nude is you just sent up a red alert.  Why do I need to be nude?  And that’s a justifiable question.  If they think you have ulterior motives, you just lost trust.

Once someone is photographed nude it may get onto the Internet.  That could cause problems for their career if they are or want to become a civil servant, teacher, police officer and so on.  I mentioned to a woman who told me she posed nude for art classes, that she should make sure there are no cell phones, or other devices that can take pictures.  If the model has done nudes already, and is comfortable with it, that’s between the two of you.


Kitchener Comic Con Experience is the next Blog!

Self Publishing: Designing a Cover #1 With a lot of help from your Friends



A pet peeve for a lot of us is when we see an interesting cover but it has nothing to do with the story inside.

I wanted covers that represented a scene in the book.  But I’m not an artist.  So what I would do is ask a friend, my goddaughter, my niece, or my goddaughter’s sister if I can take a picture of them.  The picture would represent the image I wanted an artist (someone I know) to create.

For Sylvia, the second book in the Children of the Myth Machine series, I asked Sam Nichols, a budding personal trainer if I could take a picture of her with one hand on a tree trunk while she looked into the distance.  Time didn’t allow us to meet up so Sam put her camera on Timer and took a picture while the wind blew her hair.


[The picture of Sam is her sole property and not for reprint in any form without her express permission.]

The agreement is Sam keeps the right to the original photo but I can us  She was kind enough to let me use it so you can see the process.]e it for artwork.  In the story Sylvia has birch tree pupils and rabbit ears.  I drew a really rough sketch of what I wanted for my artistic friend Randy Bugdale.


[Copyright Dan Watt]

Randy used pencil crown to create the image of Sylvia.  He also designed the front cover for the few books I had printed to bring to Kitchener Comic Con.  The next Blog will discuss getting a model.

Sylvia 300 dpi for t-shirts - Copy

Self-Publishing–Printing Companies

Sept. 12, 2016

That’s Leah Weir, who has been a tremendous help holding the two self-published books for my Children of the Myth Machine Series: Sylvia and Ruby.  Only a limited number of hard copies were printed so they  are not available but they are available as e-books through Kobo or Chapters.  I’ll discuss e-books in another Blog.

A Printing Company might use Microsoft Word, often they prefer PDF files and now it’s easy to convert a Word Document to a PDF file.  There is a list of things you want to think about before you bring your book to a Printer:

  • You want an ISBN number (the Library of Canada likes 2 copies)
  • Hire someone who is a real editor to go through your book, and work with you on any grammatical or storyline corrections.
  • How many pages, what type of paper, what type of bonding?
  • If you’re going with 5.5×8.5”or another dimension convert your document or make a copy of it at those dimensions so you know how many pages will actually be printed based on the font size and type of font.
  • You want your fonts to be easily read.
  • The more copies you get the cheaper each book costs.
  • If you’re getting the story printed to give away to an organization, family, or friends that will limit the number of copies you want to make.
  • If you’re planning on selling the books, make sure they’re appealing to the readers you’re trying to attract (non-fiction: autobiography, historical, text; fictional: drama, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, romance)
  • Make an attractive, exciting front and back cover
  • Some Printers have artists you can hire to design your front and back cover, or you can try it on your own (that’s another story)