Something about Taria

Natasha Irons; Comic Vine illustration.

Natasha Irons; Comic Vine illustration.

The writing project, Taria of the Dead is a unique, original story about a Black female superhero, or heroine. Though there have been other Black super heroines, there have not been many (of significance). In fact, the most notable, would be Storm of the X-men series (Marvel comics).

Taria is not a comic book character. I have created her as a fictional human character who has enhanced capabilities granted to her from another realm, she doesn’t quite understand.

This is a work in progress and moving along quite well, though a bit slower than I would like. Writers do have to make a living and this particular author is now spending much of her time looking for “real” work in the real world.

Still, I am excited about this project and expect to have it completed sometime in November or December 2013 with the finished product ranging from 60K – 70K words.

This also means I am pushing the Nexus II: Home project back to being released in February 2014.

In the meantime, I’m trying to come up with ideas for looks to this character. Though I’ve described her personality and defined her character pretty well in the first part of the work, she defies my physical descriptions. It’s as if She is too big (or her concept is?) for me to put her into physical form–if that makes sense.

Anyway, I’m also working on creating a document or video series on the making of Taria, though I’m hard-pressed to come up with the artwork for the cover of this work…

I know I haven’t posted much lately, but there is more to come soon.


Rape in Fiction

As of late, I haven’t had much time to do the social media
thing. And I haven’t done my regular blog posts, reviews
on Library Thing and Goodreads and just over the past
week, I began feeling more isolated than I usually do.

Partially because I’ve been working on two new projects.
Nexus II and Taria of the Dead. Taria has taken up a greater part of my mental space. The character is insistent I keep writing her world.

Since the 6th of June, I’ve written about five thousand words on Taria’s story. It’s coming along nicely, though I’m not sure about everything I’m putting this character through. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel even a bit guilty. I think this is part of the creative process that makes me grow as a writer, but I’ve noticed more talk in recent weeks about rape culture and about writers writing about rape.

At SFF, Nick Sharps writes, “…so often being a Strong Woman Character™ requires that the character be broken, typically by sexual violence. Either rape was used to transform her into a “strong” character, or else she has to be raped further on in her storyline (presumably to keep her from getting too strong).”

I am writing a brutal experience for Taria, but I believe it’s essential for her to be pushed to her end. Not because as Nick says, “to keep her from getting too strong”, (I can’t imagine that), but to push her to the point when she feels she no longer has anything to lose. The rape doesn’t transform a character into a stronger individual. She’s become strong through everything she has went through prior to that. Those SWCs are pushed to the point that they no longer give a shit and are willing to prove it now.

One last note on the rape business in literature. If the author creates a female as ‘rapeable’ that’s one thing (rape as erotic). If the act is seen as a non-erotic crime of brutality, that’s something else.

For further study, refer to: Rape in Contemporary Literature

Also: Rape and Representation at Wikipedia. Some great reference links here.

Still, I have to wonder if there’s another way to get my character to that point of madness, rather than the brutality I’ve so far considered…


Perihelion fans–it’s time to pony up!

So… for those of you who enjoy the stories, reviews, articles and artwork on Perihelion regularly, it’s time to dig under the couch cushions, forego that cup of java, or just check the change in your pocketbook. I bet you have a couple dollars that could be donated to a great cause.

The editors are only asking for $2. from two-thousand readers, within two months.

Donate through paypal and learn a bit more about the fundraiser.


Some additional questions about Nexus

I’ve had some additional questions about Nexus. Though most of these questions can be answered by reading the whole book, here are the answers.

Q: What is the Great Experiment?

A: The Great Experiment was a political move by the scientists of the twelve worlds (the nexus). They came together, found a planet (Earth/Aerte) and seeded it with the genetic material of their species. In this way, they could assure that Balam sec non’s decree of Harm None would be followed, because each world’s scientists were partially responsible for the development of the species that evolved there.

Q: What is the Unification Project?

A: It is the design of the Great Experiment by the scientists, because they used it as a way to unite the twelve worlds. The Unification Project Commission is a result of this work. [The Commission oversees all decisions, monitors and reports on all actions concerning Earth/Aerte].

Q: Why do the Ter-Herac and Tell consider the people of Earth as bad guys?

A: The Ter-Herac and Tell believe that in the last ten- thousand years of development, a system of living peaceably and considering other life on the planet should have been achieved naturally. Though people of Earth do share biological traits with Ter-Herac and Tell, they think and behave much differently. Scientists have found that the more toxic the environment becomes, the more aggressive, destructive tendencies surface. Combine this with over population and you have a toxic brew. So, Earth people are not so much bad guys, as they are subject to environmental factors, but have not done enough to help themselves out of the mess.

Q: What happened at the end? Did the children go back to Earth?

A: Yes, they went back to Earth, but what follows comes in the next book,
Nexus II: Home (coming out in December 2013).

Do you have further questions about Nexus, characters or events? Send queries to starvingartist0 at

New Nexus Description

Okay, one more description to try out on everyone. I know the last one isn’t going to work, but this is number five (5) and I hope the last one.

Here goes:

Xilam and Alex live worlds apart, but are going to become acquainted very soon.

As a law enforcer on the planet Laelaps, Xilam is tasked to find a solution to the problem of the people of Earth.

Alex is just a nine-year old loner, bright for his age and according to his parents, a bit too inquisitive for his own good.

On Laelaps there is only one law and it states, Harm None. But the law may be broken if Xilam cannot change the minds of eight billion Earthlings.

And Alex… Well, Alex will be tasked to help her do it.

Review – The Maze Runner

I read glowing reviews about the Maze Runner, by James Dashner, so when I picked it up and began reading, I was surprised and disappointed by the quality of writing I found therein.

Though the plot was quick paced and well-planned; it keeps the reader turning the page. The writing is confusing. Filled with clichés, lousy scene description, simplistic language that strives to be sophisticated and the frustrating lack of an ending only served to frustrate this reader.

The story is told from the point of view of Thomas, a sixteen year old who is brought into the ‘Glade’. A large outdoor structure, surrounded by an endless maze. Along with several other children from twelve to seventeen, they struggle to find out why they are there and to survive attacks by ‘grievers’.

The language is simplistic, as if the young adult audience could not read beyond the sixth grade level.

Tears filled his eyes, but he refused to let them come.

Few sentences within the book are more complicated than that.

And then there are spots in which the author seems confused. As if he’s unsure about scene elements.

He stood up and walked past Chuck toward the old building; shack was a better word for the place. It looked three or four stories high…

Either the narrator doesn’t know how to count or the supposed genius child, Thomas doesn’t. Either way, it’s obvious someone forgot their math on this particular day and it doesn’t bode well for a protagonist or his friends if he cannot count past three.

We find out later, the character is supposed to be super intelligent, but by his behaviors, it’s not quite believable. Even in a world of suspended disbelief, you cannot make an idiot child look super intelligent–unless of course, you write it that way.

And more confusing:

He was consumed with curiosity but still felt too ill to look closely at his surroundings. His new companions said nothing as he swiveled his head around, trying to take it all in.

Conflicting ideas here. In the first sentence of this paragraph, he’s too ill to look at surroundings, but in the next he’s attempting to take it all in. I think perhaps within this short space of type the author forgot what was supposed to happen.

Worse, to find a resolution to the questions the story poses you have to read through the whole trilogy. In the end, the books feel more like a marketing ploy than good story-telling.