New Webcomic: Children of Eldair by Rachel Oaks & Jemma Young

Koe LeKai was content to live his centuries-long life isolated in his cavernous home, but a strange sign in his stargazing lures him away from his solitude. Upon encountering a horde of monstrous flesh eaters, he eradicates them and saves a young woman, Embera, from being torn into scraps. While Embera is grateful for his help, she harbors a secret that Koe will only come to understand through time, magic, and the ever-guiding wisdom of the stars.

It’s time to announce a new webcomic from Rachel Oaks and Jemma Young. These two talented women are close friends of mine, and I’ve had the privilege of seeing this storyline (and the art that goes with it) go through various incarnations.

The comic goes live today, December 1, and I know for a fact that they have quite a buffer built up, so you’ll get regular updates of fantasy-comic goodness even if you start reading right now. To get started, just visit Eldair.com. The comic will update every weekday for the first chapter. After that updates will come every Monday and Thursday.

If you need more convincing, watch this video below. Rachel will compliment you into submission.

From This Reader’s Shelf

Today I’m going to take a timeout from being a Serious Editing Professional and let you in on a secret: most every editing professional is a hopeless, passionate book lover. Don’t let them fool you with their comma-tinkering, fierce plot critiques, or official-sounding titles. Many of them are astute, professionally trained, and incredibly skilled, but underneath those things, they’re enthusiastic readers. I’m no different.

To give you a peek at my reader-life, today I’m going to share a look at my bookshelf. This is a special bookshelf: it’s transient. I’m in the middle of a months-long visit to an Air Force base, but since it’s only months long instead of a year or more, my husband and I left most of our books in my parents’ shed in Utah (thank heaven for their free space; we stole plenty of it). Here are all our books, minus books of scripture, those in foreign languages, and those I’m currently reading.

Kristy G. Stewart's Bookshelf

The Breakdown

Some of these books are titles Mr. Stewart and I have acquired since arriving here: you’ll see both Thief’s Covenant and The Rook, books that have only come out since the start of the year. There are also some necessary work-related books: the two most recent versions of The Chicago Manual of Style (or as I like to call it, BOB, for Bright Orange Bible); Eats, Shoots & Leaves; Editors and Editing; and Rewriting (which is the most useful book I’ve ever found about academic writing). Not shown is the APA publication manual.

Seven of the books directly draw on folklore or collect folktales. Yes, I read both the tales and the commentary included in The Classic Fairy Tales (edited by Maria Tatar). That’s the black book between Eats, Shoots & Leaves and Best-Loved Folktales of the World.

There’s only one book of poetry (prose is more my speed). Unless you count my Poe collection, which has both poetry and prose.

Yes, I have a complete collection of Poe covered with creepy red decor. I also have a less-complete collection packed in my parents’ shed.

Genre-wise, there’s biography, YA, dark fantasy, satirical fantasy, science fiction, horror, war fiction, nonfiction, and instructional books on screenwriting and typography. There is also a whole host of classics, but they’re contained in that sneaky little eReader on the bottom left, hidden beneath Billy Collins. (I don’t love my eReader, but I love that it carries my classic library for me.)

The books that are horizontal on the bottom of the shelf are books I brought because I am frequently set upon by sudden impulses to re-read them, so I couldn’t bear to leave them. Included in that list is Night Watch by Terry Pratchett, one of my favorites in his repertoire, which is also hidden in the eReader. If I had a hard copy, I would have brought it.

I haven’t read four books on this shelf: John Adams (I just haven’t been able to sit down to a page commitment that big since we got here), the Dean Koontz books on the right (recent acquisitions from my father-in-law), and The Hundred Dresses on the top left (a recent acquisition from my mom).

Kristy G. Stewart's "Currently Reading" Stack

In addition to that abused shelf, I have three books that I’m currently reading or am about to read. They migrate through the house with me, from kitchen to couch to bedroom and back. One of them (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland) just arrived today, and it’s hard to make myself wait to open its covers. I probably won’t hold out much longer.

If you could only bring one shelf’s worth of your books with you on a months-long expedition, which ones couldn’t you do without? Do you ever read more than one book at a time?

(Rules: Saying “I’d get an e-version of everything and just take my Kindle” doesn’t count unless you really do have your entire library on your ereader. In which case, if you only had a shelf’s worth of memory on your ereader, which files would you keep?)

A Long Weekend & the Versatile Blogger Award

The long weekend has me a little out of the loop. Luckily my friend Charlie Holmberg has provided me some blogging material that can buy me some time to write something really insightful about dashes. It’ll be great, I promise. Until I get all my dashes in a row, here’s my post about the Versatile Blogger Award, which Charlie nominated me for. (Thanks, Chuck!)

The Rules of Said Award Are as Follows:

  1. In a post on your blog, nominate 15 fellow bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  2. In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.
  3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
  4. In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
  5. In the same post, include this set of rules.
  6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

My Seven Random Facts:

  1. In college I had to drive to campus in the winter not because it was cold (I didn’t mind the temperature, even though I always wore open-toed shoes of some kind), but because I’d get distracted by the snow if I walked and I’d be late for class.
  2. I can hardly stand close-toed shoes, and I wear my favorite sandals—Chacos—year round.
  3. Because of this I can normally tell if it’s more than a few degrees below freezing outside, because that kind of cold feels different on my toes.
  4. I don’t have the keenest eyesight or hearing (thank you very much, genetics), but smells and textures affect me significantly.
  5. I blame Fact #4 for my somewhat overeager gag reflex.
  6. Growing up, my favorite video game was Bubsy on the Super NES. In it you played a bobcat who was trying to save the world’s yarn from invading space aliens. My favorite part were the various animations it had for when Bubsy died.
  7. Chlorine is one of my favorite smells in the whole world, probably because I spent about half my life in a pool through junior high, high school, and part of college.

My Nominations

I know this totally breaks the rules of the award, but everyone I know who blogs and would respond to this award has already done it. So I’m going to pass on finding 15 random individuals to send this to. However, if you, friendly reader, would like to take part in this award-fest and haven’t had this particular award passed on to you yet, please consider this your invitation. Just comment below to accept your nomination!