Sunday, October 31, 2010

Now You See It


by Nyki Blatchley

"And how exactly," asked Ms Carver with a tone of ominous calm, "does one lose a planet?"

The two scientists facing her were not immune to the menace in her voice, but they had no choice but to tell the truth. She'd find out anyway.

"Well," began Dr Trumble, adjusting the glasses on the end of his nose, then immediately putting them back the way they'd been, "it's been happening rather a lot lately. The reports..."

"I've read the reports," snapped Ms Carver. "Ravings of madmen, if you ask me. Can you explain to me what precisely this "gremloid energy" is?"

Trumble glanced at his colleague, willing him to contribute, and Professor Dodgson obliged.

"Well, no-one's managed to solve the equations yet," he explained slowly, "but it's in essence a previously undetected form of energy that... er, hides things."

"Hides things." Ms Carver's voice would have cut solid steel, and probably made a fair job on diamond, but Dodgson seemed not to have noticed.

"Yes. Always unexpectedly, and always things that we really, really need..."

"Like a planet with resources that can't be found anywhere else in the galaxy?" suggested Ms Carver, eyes fixed behind fashionable square glasses.

"Precisely like that," Dodgson agreed. Trumble wondered whether he was very stupid or very nervous. "It... hides them behind a fold of space, and we have to work out exactly where."

"And then? Once we know, how do we get these things back?"

"We don't have to," explained Trumble, feeling that he should support his colleague. "As soon as we've worked out their location, they... just reappear. We're still working on the theory, but it seems that gremloid energy is symbiotic with the human mind. Once the problem's been solved, it releases what it's taken."

There was a very, very long silence, during which Trumble and Dodgson exchanged glances. There were stories about Ms Carver's rages and which mental hospitals their targets had ended up in. Trumble had always believed them mere urban legends. Looking at her now, he was less sure.

"So," she said very quietly at last, "how do you normally solve these... games?"

"We use the GAVA computer," said Dodgson. "It's the only one on earth powerful enough to solve the complex calculations."

Ms Carver nodded. "That's why it's called the Great And Very Awesome computer," she said. "So why aren't you using it now?"

They exchanged glances again. "It's broken," said Trumble at last. "The central processor is..."

Thirty seconds later, Trumble was fleeing for his life from a murderous Ms Carver, while Dodgson huddled whimpering in a corner, eyes glazed. In retrospect, Trumble realised, he should have made something up: any excuse would have done.

Anything but telling her that the central processor had been hidden by gremloid energy.

Copyright © 2010 Nyki Blatchley

Nyki Blatchley is a British author and poet who graduated from Keele University in English and Greek and now lives just outside London. He has had about two dozen stories published, mostly fantasy or horror. His novel At An Uncertain Hour was published by StoneGarden in April 2009.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Open for Submissions!!!

Inmate Run Asylum is now open for submissions for all! 

Don't believe me?  Check out our Submissions page for information!

Are you run by your ideas?  Do those stray thoughts drive you to distraction?  Have a story that came out of nowhere?  A poem that inspires?  Art with a sense of whimsy?  We may have a home for it!

Friday, October 29, 2010

had to share this...

I'm not generally a self-centered sort, and if I think someone is gifted beyond giving in the area of talent, skill and creativity, I'll be pleased to share this blog with them, whether it's story, poetry, or art.

Among my friends I can count an amazing graphic-designer/ illustrator/artist by the name of Tris Rossin. 

Recently he started designing avatars on Twitter and holds a contest on Tuesdays and Fridays for a free avatar.  I can't help but think I'm lucky enough to be one of the first to acquire one (See below).  His ultimate goal is 3000 avatars for his Hall of Fame, which could either be won in the contest or purchased.  At the rate he's going, he may get there sooner than he thinks!

With a Twitter name like @bwitchdkitty I can only imagine he had a little fun with the photo I sent him.

You can find a link to his business dot2uk in my Links section or you can click here to find out more about his Avatar Giveaway contest

Harvest Game

Empress Sabine glanced past the supplicant when she heard the game warden step through the far door. Once her gold-flecked gaze targeted him, the warden nodded and slipped out of the audience chamber.

Her attention returned to the bundle of rich fabric, precious gems and metals quivering before the dais. “Your concerns are noted, Lord Enlad. Unfortunately, your plea, coming after game selection and training, does not sway our sympathy.”

Raising his face to the Empress, a death sentence in itself, the noble cried, “Take me! Take me! Spare my son!”

The imperial eyes narrowed and darkened to smoky amber. Her lips parted exposing deadly canines. “If he survives, your son will be returned to your family.” A nod signaled the Imperial guard to half drag, half carry Lord Enlad from the Presence.

Sabine lived for Harvest Game Day ever since the former Emperor, in his misguided love for her, commanded an enchantment that condemned her to immortality in this dreadful human body. This one day they bathed her in non-perfumed emollients and combed out her black of blackest hair to fall free, unadorned.

At the appointed time, the human attendants left her standing naked at the rim. In the arena below, the game waited, chosen for their strength and trained in physical combat. It amused her to see their expressions, not sure of the meaning of this naked woman, and then her transformation to panther.

Gold lit her eyes. The growl came from joy.

Who is the strongest, hummmm?

Written by Suzanne Driggs
Copyright © 2010 Suzanne Driggs

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A victim of my ideas

I can be doing anything, anywhere at any time and I can be blindsided.  It can be fierce, painful and exhillerating all at once.  I'm speaking of being struck by inspiration, I hope you know what I speak of.  That utterly helpless feeling of having a random thought stroll through your mind and warp, loose or destroy any previous thoughts you've been having. 

It's bad when I'm at work; especially within sight range of my employer.  It gets worse though when they gang up on me.  They range from stories and poems to art, comics and graphic novels.  Looks a bit like this;

Plot twist for the Mousepaw Chronicles....that will definately put a damper on her relationship with her love interest, but that's ok, that's what the story is about, not the dancing copper dragon with an iPod...where did that come from?  Oh right, listening to music, U2's Vertigo...hey...that'd be a good .gif animation sequence...hmmm....another thing to well as getting used to Magna Studio Debut 4....gotta work on that dragon graphic't see that plot twist coming!  heehehe now that's a monster of an idea....uhoh...those three again!  Go away!  uhm....ok...that's did that steampunk element get in there?  Ooooh...that's me....whoops.  And a novel to go with it too?  Hooboy...but what a challenge!  And that battle with vampires and werewolves...that is soooo Shakespeareian...ow...ok, that was good...that was really good....I might want a pro on that one...gotta look through my online contacts to see if anyone would be idea....ohhhhh it for's a good one, a modern romance go with that mythological romance...uh...right...
now where's my time going?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Still have ideas...

yet I find myself with both a lack of time and energy to work on them.  Saddly, a lot of projects suffer because of it.  This is the last week before Halloween, crunch time, and I've already pulled a twelve hour shift and I don't know if I'll get a day off at all this week. 

Spellbound and Senseless I'm going to be putting on hiatus until I can get my priorities straight with it.  I've pulled a decent amount off, I'm proud of it, but I'm also starting to realise how much work it really is and how much you have to love the idea to make it work and not loose readers.  I'll finish up the run I've got started when the moment allows, but things I think will be changing.  New setting, new characters, even a whole plotline to keep things fresh and interesting.  I won't be giving things away though ;)

The holidays are also encroaching upon us and I tend to have a rather magnanamous personality (I'll give my last dollar to the Salvation Army, I'll donate toys for the local toy drive...)  I'm just addicted to that feeling that I did well by my fellow man...or get the idea.   So I'm making it a goal this year to make crafty little items for friends who need help for the holidays.  I'm sorry, but it's my personal opinion that everyone should get something for the holidays.  If I can make somebody's day brighter, then it's a real pleasure for me to do so.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Untitled poem

Wrote this little poem while having a rather high-flying day. 

I've lived in the moment,
I've soaked up the sun
I won't regret
what I haven't done
That is the riddle
which time is about;
no should haves,
no could haves,
no would haves,
no doubt.
I'll dare to dream
and I'll dream to dare,
and I won't bemoan
how Life isn't fair.
For Life's what you make of it
it's never owed;
You've never bought it
and it wasn't sold.

written by Michelle Nielsen

Friday, October 22, 2010

paper or plastic?

We've all seen the apps, the sites, the Kindles and what-have-yous that all purport the continuing accessibility of e-literature.  Or more to the point, e-books.  Publishing is becoming easier and easier for all levels of writers because of  this.  Should I be  thankful?  Of course, it means that there's a better chance for Mousepaw Chronicles and all my works to be published.  But there's also that  little part of me that longs for the competition, the thrill of successfully winning the attention of  the editors of a prestigious publishing house.  Actually holding my book in my hands in it's final form. 

There is no doubt in my mind that e-books are the here and now.  They won't go away anytime soon, nor would I want them too.  Yet my past speaks of long nights in bed curled up with a good book.  My husband could tell you the number of times he's found me sound asleep with a favorite volume beside me, my thumb still marking the page where I'd dropped off.  Now I enjoy reading online all types of literature, whether it's kids stories or flash, poetry or even participating in a critique on a lengthy novel, but there are some things that you just can't take an electronic device, like say...oh... a bathtub?  That would be a re-volt-ing experience methinks.  So the future?  Who's to say.  I think there is still room for the dead-tree version as well as electronic.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

the argument inside my head

I think I mentioned this a few months ago; that I'd been brought onto another person's project as a comic strip writer.  I'm just praying for the day I can pay him back for the favor, for his characters managed to camp inside my head like a trio of rambunctous squatters for the past year in spite of the fact that he's not currently on the project.  And usually they show up unannounced and uninvited.

Usually it goes something like this;

ME; (typing, working on novel)clackity clackity clackity

D; Hey...

ME; What?  YOU?!?  Not now!  I'm busy!

D; Gotta idea for us...

ME; You've got to be kidding..

D; No!  It'll be great!  Trust me!

ME; Get off my back you little hunchbacked monkey!  Besides, he's busy too...and I won't burden him with more scripts! (goes back to typing) clackity clackity clackity...

C; Hey babe...

ME; There's only one man alive allowed to call me that and I'm married to him...  Oh.  No.  What do you want?

C; Just got this crazy idea..

ME; First off, not writing any more scripts until further notice.  Second, quit shedding on the furniture. And don't even think about chasing my cats!

C; Aww, man...

ME; (back to typing) clackity clackity clackity

V; Good evening, my dear..

ME; *sigh*...Why did I know you were going to show up?

V: I merely wished to profer a most intriguing prospect...

ME; I've got thirty ideas I'm working on now of my own!  And I'm trying to eat dinner!

V; Is that what I smell?  What is it?

ME; Italian.  Heavy on the garlic.

V; *EEP!* Perhaps another time!

ME: Finally! (back to typing) clackity clackity clackity {thirty minutes pass} clackity clackity clackity

D, C, V; We're back!

ME; *groan*  If I do what you want, will you leave me alone?

D; Sure!
C; No prob, toots!
V; Certainly!

{another thirty minutes later}

ME; well?

D; It's great!
C; I'm cool with it!
V; I'd like to just change one little...

ME: *SNARL!!!*

V; It's fine! Perfect!! Knew you'd do a supurb job!

ME; Now go away.

{Two days later}

C; Hey baby...

ME; Not again...

As you can tell, it gets interesting in my head with not only my own projects, but with other people's as well!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Legend in the Making

Another of my cohorts, he joined shortly after I did and like most simultaneous newcomers, we bonded a bit.  I found his work enthralling, dark and mysterious and the way he worked, through the countless variations of the same story to be familiar.  Like Suzanne he helped me as well with Mousepaw Chronicles, and I helped to show him how to pare a 1k flash story down to half that.

I find he's full of surprises and hope he can share his experiences, thoughts and experiments here on in the Asylum

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


This was published on Flashshot some time ago, I feel this is one of my personal best.

By Michelle Nielsen

He looked long at the cipher before him in the gloom, struggling to keep his frustration at bay.  Tormented by confusion, he grimaced.  Too late!  He remembered just as his razor sharp teeth sliced into the scarred sides of his cheeks and nearly severed his tongue.

Enraged, he looked at the cipher's author.

Dracula cast the paper aside in disgust.
Damn Van Helsing!
Damn Sudoku!

Where Wolf?

Actually wrote this while drinking...can't believe it came out comprehensible. 

Where Wolf?
By Michelle Nielsen

Beth heard Harold in the bathroom, the sound unmistakable.  She sighed, resolute now.

So much they had gone through to rid him of that horrible curse.  Finally hunting down and killing the thing that caused it was a small mercy.  Yet those few things remained unchanged.

They had to get rid of the family dog for its own sake, Harold's presence drove it mad.  He still shed like fifty longhaired dachshunds, but she could live with that.  It was the damned drinking from the toilet that would drive her to divorce.


This time of year is always a challenge.  I've worked in this costume shop for nearly fourteen years and never have I ever experienced a dull moment. 

Mostly my job consists of pricing, but usually I'm doing what the boss requires of me, including inventories, filing, some light office work, marking down merchandice, stocking and in some cases espionage.  I think that would be the best part about it..although I don't utilize any disguises to do so.  I probably should, considering where I work.

I'm discovering the hardest part about it, especially when I've got projects that I'm working on like my strip, is I have no time or energy to do what I want to do when I get home.  I'm working six days a week now and I may have to go in on my day off if another worker doesn't come in.  It's happened before.  I can't even have a Halloween party because of work.  Fortunately it sounds like I will be getting the actual day of Halloween off. 

You know you're running low on time for yourself when you think you're lucky just to get a load of laundry done.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Battling Doubt

Came up with this poem today while in a rather dark place emotionally speaking.

Battlilng Doubt

Wake to a grey sky,
Stuck in a rut in my life,
The Devil’s got his claws in me.
Where did I go wrong?
Can’t find where I belong,
Why won’t these fears let me be?

Someone said something,
I know what it’s about.
Yet there seems to be no stopping these doubts.

Trying to find my friends,
Or is it all just pretend?
There’s no knight in bright armor for me.
Do I matter at all?
Should I embrace the fall?
That’s the only place I seem to be free.

Did I say something?
Was I completely wrong?
Around me, doubts come to throng.

I’m the only one to fight,
To try and make things right,
There’s more to life as there is to me.
I’ll hold my head high,
I’ll double dare doubt to try,
Cause I will be what I’ve got to be.

written by Michelle Nielsen

Friday, October 15, 2010

How weird is this?

Just noticed something weird.  I know every artist has his/her particular style, but this bugs me just a bit.  I shouid be able to draw people as well as I draw animals.  I don't...which is truly bizarre in my opinion.  My horses can be as anatomically perfect as I could hope.  I  can caputure feline body language with a minimum of effort...and I've been drawing dragons so long, each one can be different and live on the page. 

But when I get to the human form, I stumble.  It becomes some bizarre mix of realistic/cartoony that begs for something.  Sorry, but it's just weird if the horse winds up looking better than the rider.

Suzanne Driggs

I'm thinking to bring some of my friends on don't be surprised to hear a new voice or two...or ten.

Suzanne is one of them.  I met her at, a great little writing website where written words could be read and critiqued.  She was probably among the first to get into The Mousepaw Chronicles and I've considered her advice and critique on it to be nothing short than eye-opening.  Her own books I found entertaining and gave me an emotional high I've yet to find elsewhere and she's also opened my eyes to certain solar events that influence human creativity.  Apparently I'm now her solar barometer!

you can check out her own blog Sun Visions and her writing can be found at Topperboards

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Season of Change

At least, the start of change...things will be changing with Inmate Run Asylum.  Gets a little lonely blogging on my own, so I'm inviting some of my more creative, inspirational and sometimes off-the-wall friends to join I'll be making announcements about them in the coming days if they (hopefully) accept.

Other changes will be including customized backdrops that I've decided I can't live without...comics, themed ideas, reject movie posters, you name it.  I'll just make sure not to make it too distracting! ;)

it may take a bit of work, but I think things could start to get interesting here!

Recent news

Things have been interesting as of late.  First off, it's October, I work in a costume shop and I'm trying to publish a weekly web comic.  That alone should be enough to drive a "normal" person mad.  Keep in mind I've got all those other little tidbits and projects that I'm also trying to work on. 

Throw on top of that a twisted C6 vertebra and then you're talking really interesting.  As in "hurts to even live" interesting.  So came my first introduction to Chiropractic health care.  The whole experience probably looked scarier than it actually was, my chiropractor is that nice.  So that's going to be a monthly thing for me now.

Then there's my own brief brush with insanity-as-genius.  Somehow, I've managed to land a role in game design!  Can't really discuss details, but once the project hits the market, I'll be promoting it like crazy!

I'm honestly surprised I get anything done!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How far is too far?

I deal with a good amount of self doubt, especially if there's a fuzzy area I'm uncertain of.  Times like those, I really need the opinions and advice of others. 

Among my recent ideas, an old one remerged and demanded some attenion.  The first time it wasn't so successful.  This time, there may be a limited amount of success depending on how "fuzzy" I can make those edges.

I designed some drawsting handbags a few years ago.  They had four points that would droop over the body of the bag which allowed for a few options in the overall appearance, usually involving fabric colors.  At the time I called them  Blossom Bags for their flower-like appearance.  Changing that.   Lately, I've updated those ideas.  I've discovered Steampunk, all brass and hardware which would offer a different look.  I've also come up with a Gothic look with dramatic colors and lots of black.  Then I've gained some inspiration from a long time love of my life.  And I'm not talking about my husband.

This is where the fuzzy area comes in to play.  I've got a number of ideas in mind inspired by a rather highly franchised and trademarked film series.  Most of it is with fabric color and texture only and I'm sure I can steer well away from incriminating names or symbols that would be a dead giveaway...but would that be enough?  Especially since I'm leaning towards selling these bags online, I'd like to avoid any nasty legal entanglements.


I hate it when this happens.  Some people would say that it's a blessing, but how can it be a blessing when you've got a multitude of irons in the fire?

For example;  I've made a commitment to my strip Spellbound and Senseless which means I need to have a number of strips done each month for my readers.  This takes time (usually when I have none), and I wind up working on them whenever I have a chance.  Fortunately, with practice and continuing to make the strips, it gets easier, but no less time consuming.

I also have a multitude of comic book and graphic novel ideas that I'd like to get down in writing and start roughing them in....again, this is a time consuming thing because I'm a freaking perfectionist with this sort of thing.  And yeah...there's roughly about six or*sigh* ok, the things breed like rats in my head.

My novel, The Mousepaw Chronicles is still in editing process...someday I'm going to get the darned thing done...but when I get a review that's forty pages long!!!.... the book needs some work.  That's all I can say.

Alrighty that little reminder of what I've got going on out of  the way, I'm also subject for rather senseless, yet endlessly amusing ideas that completely blindside me.  By senseless, I mean, I have no real use for it, yet I can't help but see if I can "push" myself over that limit and get the image out of my head that I'm seeing...or that story that's begging to be written.  Or a item for a costume..

Then there's the latest thing...Die bags.  The well accessoriesed RPGer is never without one, especially for the tabletop games.  I've been there myself.  But I'm also noticing a latest trend; Geek Girls. Nerdy name it.   Some years ago, I designed a little drawstring pouch ideal for a variety of purposes...I had two markets to sell them at, but neither of them went over really well.  Also made them for two weddings (where they went over like prime rib at a buffet).  Now I have the ultimate market at my disposal.  There's a growing trend I know I can take this to.  I'm actually thinking of selling these online to generate some much needed income.  I've got to be out of my mind.