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Working On The Watch by LadyMerrethsAuthor


Wow.  It has been a while.  Apologies to all of you who keep stopping by for something new (Hi mom!).  I've been busy with work and my writing projects.

I have now edited the first seven chapters of Western Watch.  I am uncertain whether I can truly call this a second draft.  From what I have read what i am doing is creating a cleaned up first draft.  Having said that I have also got about 1/2 of the sequel plotted out.  Some of the other writing related things I have been pursuing:


I wrote a series of blog posts on creating a book trailer using very simple tools.  You can see the PowerPoint only version of the Western Watch book trailer on SlideShare.  It very, very, basic, but will be used as a basis of more advanced versions when I get around to it.

I'm thinking of commissioning some more art. If I do, will show up on DA, of course.

Speaking of art, several of the images above are done by the incomparable :iconsyoshiko:,
Those of you familiar with Lady Merreth know that :iconsyoshiko: does most of her images.  However, I have been fortunate enough to have :iconyacermino: provide me with several drawings of the villains that Merreth faces.  Most of these are from my upcoming novel, Western Watch, but one memorable character is Yacermino's creation -- "The Bounty Huntress".

Here is a quick video showcasing some of Yacermino's work.  I put it together using PowToon -- you might want to check out that web-based application if you are thinking of doing your own videos.

Enjoy, and don't forget to visit both :iconsyoshiko: and :iconyacermino:.

I have been tagged!  for the first time in my ... well... life actually.  :)

So in response to a tag from :iconripleynox:, here are ten things you didn't Know about LadyMerrethsAuthor:

  1. I'm a tequila guy -- Don Eduardo Silver is my favourite.  I used to be a Scotch guy but no more.
  2. I (and my girlfriend) are owned by two cats.  Twilight -- the female -- is equal parts mischief and perpetual motion.  Dano -- the male -- feels that it's his mission in life to groom everyone.  Literally every last person or animal.
  3. My favourite "grazing" snack is salted corn nuts.  I could put them down by the pound. They're like crack cocaine to me.  Not good.
  4. I have crooked little fingers.  They bend inwards.  Up until I was about ten I thought everyone was like that.  Our family doctor offered to break and re-set them to "normal".  I decided I was ok with "abnormal".
  5. I've served for two years as the guy in charge of Pet Registrations on our strata council.  My duties consist mainly of making people cry when I'm not pissing them off.
  6. Battlestar Galactica 2004 -- Best. Sci-fi TV series. Ever.
  7. I am huge Archer (the cartoon)  fan. 
  8. Foam rubber freaks me out.  I cannot stand the feel of it, the way others cannot stand the sound of nails on blackboard.  My worst nightmare is to be rolled in the stuff.
  9. If I eat at McDonalds, and only if I eat at McDonalds, I will always eat all of my french fries first, before a single bit of the hamburger.  Should I not do so, you will know you are in the company of an imposter.
  10. I will take rain over snow any day.  You don't have to shovel rain. 

After careful consideration, I hereby tag the following ten people people to do the same:

:iconsyoshiko:, :icondramira:, :iconyacermino:, :iconmylochka:, :iconmashytaytew:,
:iconaliciane:, :iconmordredoforkney:, :iconwarriorneedsfood:, :iconlittlegoblet:, :iconpoetic-dragon:

Here are the rules to follow:

Rules:
1) Don't think just share the love!!
2) Each person has to share 10 facts about themselves
3) Choose 10 people and put their icons in your journal.
4) Go to their page and inform them that they have been tagged by you.
5) Not something like "You are tagged if you read that".
6) You have to legitimately tag 10 people.(+ESPECIALLY yours waifus /hasbandos/mans or your Deviant Family)
7) No tag-backs.!!!!!
8)You can't say that you don't do tags.
9)You MUST make a journal entry! No comments.
First Draft is Finished by LadyMerrethsAuthor

Yeah, I'm stoked. :)

Chapter 32 is done! by LadyMerrethsAuthor
Chapter 31 Done! by LadyMerrethsAuthor

2nd contest Banner by LadyMerrethsAuthor


The Results Are In!

This contest was very difficult to judge because each piece had something unique to offer.  I want to congratulate all of the entrants for the submissions they put forward.  I know that good art comes only with time and effort.  I am grateful that you've all chosen to spend some of that on Lady Merreth.


Contest Winners


First Place:

Bully by mylochka

"Bully" by Mylochka

:iconmylochka:

Second Place:

"You Stupid Indolent Cow of a Woman" by Poetic Dragon

:iconpoetic-dragon:

Third Place:

One for Merreth by littlegoblet

"One for Merreth" by littlegoblet

:iconlittlegoblet:



All Contest Entrants



:iconwarriorneedsfood:, :iconthebesthatican:, :iconlittlegoblet:, :iconpoetic-dragon:, :iconmylochka:, :iconmashytaytew:, :iconmordredoforkney:

See all entries here in Lady Merreth's Second Contest.
2nd contest Banner by LadyMerrethsAuthor

**** Update! ****


Contest Closed!

Judging is now in progress!


I've decided to extend the contest.  The new end date is Midnight, PST, MONDAY, December 16th, 2013!  Other dates have been adjusted below.


Lights, Camera, Action!


Depict a scene with Merreth in conflict with another character from her world.  This can be a physical or verbal confrontation or even a battle of wits.

Choose one of the following scenes (yes, some reading is required :)):

Lady Merreth confronts Scribe Duggel


Upon her arrival to see High Mistress Rhekhell of the Western Watch, Lady Merreth meets her chief scribe, Duggel, who insists upon following procedure with regard to Rhekhell’s appointments. Merreth’s temper, already frayed after a long ride, snaps.
Link to Chapter with full scene

Ladies Tiandraa and Lyadkell of the Red Hand bait Merreth


After meeting with Mistress Rhekhell, Lady Merreth and Scribe Sarrit meet Ladies Tiandraa and Lyadkell of the Red Hand in the main room of the Watch Administration building.  Lady Tiandraa steps into the room from the outside, opening the door suddenly and catching Merreth full in the face.  Things go rapidly downhill from there. 
Link to Chapter with full scene

Honour Bout between Lady Merreth and Lady Tiandraa


Lady Merreth refuses to apologize to Lady Tiandraa for publically striking her in front a crowd of commoners.  Lady Tiandraa demands satisfaction in an Honour Bout.  Merreth accepts and the bout is staged in front of a crowd of Watch nobles and commoners. Things do not go well for Lady Tiandraa.
Link to Chapter with full scene

Lady Merreth rescues a commoner from a group of tavern thugs


Merreth returns to the eastern Matriarchy after her adventures in the Western Watch province.  It’s winter – cold and wet; she takes refuge in commoner tavern.   There she witnesses a commoner shopkeeper bullied by several local toughs.  Merreth doesn’t care for bullies and when none of the other patrons intervene, she decides to do so.
Link to Chapter with full scene

Lady Merreth confronts Lady Simma of the Red Hand


An impulsive decision on Merreth’s part forces her to work closely with Lady Simma – a Red Hand noble.  Without realizing how dangerous it is to push Merreth, Lady Simma baits her once too often.  Merreth loses her temper and acts like one of the things she loathes – a bully.
Link to Chapter with full scene

Pick Your Own Scene from the posted Lady Merreth Literature


Don't like any of the foregoing scenes?  You can pick a conflict scene from any of the posted literature within the Stories and Chapters folder. 

However, before you depict the scene, note me first for approval.

Contest Entrants

Last updated December 15, 2013

:iconwarriorneedsfood:, :iconthebesthatican:, :iconlittlegoblet:, :iconpoetic-dragon:, :iconmylochka:, :iconmashytaytew:, :iconmordredoforkney:

See all entries here in Lady Merreth's Second Contest.


Contest Dates


  • Contest opens September 8th 2013 and closes December 16th 2013 (12 midnight PST).

  • Judging takes place December 17th to December 20th.

  • Winners announced December 21st.

  • All prizes from LadyMerrethsAuthor distributed by December 23rd.  Yea!  Just in time for Christmas!



Contest Prizes


Prizes from LadyMerrethsAuthor will be cash, paid through PayPal.  If the winner does not have a Paypal account, the prize will be given in the equivalent amount of DA points.


Over Twelve Entrants

  • 1st Prize: $100.00 US
  • 2nd Prize: $80.00 US
  • 3rd Prize: $60.00 US
  • 4th Prize: $45.00 US
  • 5th Prize: $30.00 US

Nine to Twelve Entrants

  • 1st Prize: $90.00 US
  • 2nd Prize: $70.00 US
  • 3rd Prize: $40.00 US
  • 4th Prize: $30.00 US

Six to Eight Entrants

  • 1st Prize: $80.00 US
  • 2nd Prize: $60.00 US
  • 3rd Prize: $30.00 US

Five or Fewer Entrants

  • 1st Prize: $50.00 US
  • 2nd Prize: $30.00 US

Contributed Prizes

In the first Lady Merreth Contest several very kind DA members contributed additional prizes.  If that occurs again, the prize pool will be updated.

Other

  • You can enter as many times as you like, but you can only win one prize.
  • Contest Winners will be featured on the LadyMerrethsAuthor DA page for two weeks after prize payout.
  • Winning entries will also be displayed on the Tales of Lady Merreth FaceBook Page and Lady Merreth’s Author Blog.
  • All contest entries will be displayed within the DA Lady Merreth Group.
  • All Contest Entries will be placed into a Contest Gallery on the LadyMerrethsAuthor page at the contest’s conclusion with links back to the artists.

Eligible Art Types


Contest entries can be:

  • 2D
  • 3D
  • Line art – as long as it is clean and “finished looking”
  • Manga
  • Anime
  • Photo manips
I prefer entries to be of realistic proportions.

Backgrounds are preferred, but not mandatory.   Many of contest scenes provide some information to provide a background (e.g. room or immediate vicinity of the confrontation).

How Contest Entries are Judged


Entries are judged on:
  • Adherence to Merreth’s appearance and the appearance of other characters in the scene
  • Originality – although you may choose to illustrate a conflict that has already been depicted (for example, ‘Bitch Slap’), greater weight will be given to such illustrations that incorporate originality (for example if they done from a different vantage point and, of course, in your own style).
  • Adherence to the description of the scene chosen

Entering Your Submission


To enter your art in the contest, post a comment under this Journal Entry. Place the following pieces of information in the comment:
  • The words “Contest Entry”
  • The scene chosen
  • The medium used
  • A link to your gallery where you have placed the image; be sure to provide a link back to this contest page
  • If you are entering a photo manipulation, a link back the stock provider's terms of use

As submissions are entered the will be placed into the Lady Merreth Contest II folder under LadyMerrethsAuthor favourites.


Contest Guidelines


When participating in the contest, please:
  • Read Lady Merreth’s Character Bio
  • Read Lady Merreth’s World
  • Depict Merreth (and any other characters according to how they look in the story/bio)
  • Follow DA guidelines for submissions
  • Credit sources (stock, refs, etc.)
  • Link back to the contest and group under your piece/submission
  • Join the Lady Merreth Group
  • By entering the contest you agree to abide by the Lady Merreth Permissions located on this DA page
Violence and gore are acceptable (although there isn’t very much of either in the posted chapters and stories).

You may enter on behalf of a friend if you like.

If you have any questions about anything (contest rules, characters, etc.), please note me or ask them in a comment.

Please do not:

• Make changes to characters’ appearances/costumes

Character References


  • There are character depictions for Lady Merreth, Lady Simma, and Lady Tiandraa in the references folder.  Each of these has been done by :iconsyoshiko:
  • In addition there are photo references for Lady Merreth, though please note that Lady Merreth has brown eyes, NOT blue as depicted in the photos
  • *** Very Important *** Lady Merreth has an 'iconic' look. This look includes her outfit: hat, vest, gloves, breeches, boots and whip. Please be true to that look.  That look is illustrated in this amazing character reference by :iconsyoshiko::





Social Media


You do not have to do any of the following but I would appreciate it if you would:
Thanks!

Promotion Prizes!


Want to get stuff without entering the contest?  No problem!

I will gift DA points to every person who promotes the contest on their journal (with a link to the contest page), up to a maximum of 12 people (first come, first serve).  The journal entry must “stay up” for a minimum of one (1) week and be exclusively devoted to the contest.

I will gift:
  • 25 points to those with less than 50 watchers
  • 50 points to those with more than 50 but less than 100 watchers
  • 75 points to those with more than 100 watchers
You do not have to enter the contest in order to promote it.  

People who enter the contest are eligible for the point gift if they promote the contest as well (up to the 12 person maximum).

Each person (up to the maximum of 12) can receive points only once for promoting the contest on their journal.

Note me with a link to the journal entry and I will gift the points upon verifying the Journal entry.

Thank you to the following promoters:



:iconxullraezauviir:, :iconpoetic-dragon:, :iconyourclosetninja:


Chapter 26 has now been written, previewed by SYoshiko, and submitted to my writers' group.  The writers' group on the whole thought is was good, but feel I tend to over-write.  Oh well, that's what second drafts are for and it is always easier to cut than to add.

Merreth's early adventures take place in the western plains under a baking sun.  Yeah, I know, she wears black leather and would probably cook out there but nothing says BAD ASS like black leather.  :)

Eventually she will return to the eastern provinces of the Matriarchy where winter weather is cold and damp when it's not snowing.  SYoshiko has pointed out that Merreth will need something a little warmer to wear than just her customary vest and breeches, so she gifted me this wonderful art:

Merreth's Jacket

Merreth's Jacket by LadyMerrethsAuthor

As an aside, I've seen a lot of chatter on DA regarding artists who take commission money and produce nothing but excuses, if they produce anything at all.  This just makes me all the more grateful that I met :iconsyoshiko:.  She is professional in every sense of the word.  If you have not already done so, visit her page, check out her work, and consider commissioning her.  She comes with my highest recommendation.
Well, chapter 25 of Western Watch is finished.  The first draft now sits with :iconsyoshiko: and my writers' group.  I'm pleased that Western Watch is now at the 99,750 word mark with about another 30,000 to go.  Chapter 25 ends with Merreth once again hip deep in trouble.

Speaking of :iconsyoshiko:, she has just completed another paired image for me.  This is one of the two, depicting Merreth at the feet of a Clan Warrior from earlier in Western Watch. 

Things don't look good, but never count Merreth out.  She's ...

Not Dead Yet

Not Dead Yet by LadyMerrethsAuthor
The end of Western Watch is finally coming into view.  As I look back on the first draft I see many places where I could have shortened my journey, but hindsight is always 20/20.  I've been keeping SYoshiko busy with several pieces that will eventually figure into a trailer for the Western Watch novel.

Here is the latest:  Blood Before You.   Seems that everything Merreth touches comes away red and wet.  :)

Blood Before You by LadyMerrethsAuthor

Art by :iconsyoshiko:
And what better place to get away than a place with a view like this?

The View from Sechelt BC by LadyMerrethsAuthor

So after a bit of a break,  I am back to writing Western Watch, Lady Merreth's debut novel.  The current word count is about 90,000 words and I estimate there is about another 30,000 to go.  Of course, I do enjoy the University Tales that I have posted, so I might put up another installment of them before long.

Lady Merreth's First Contest -- First Prize Winner

Journal Entry: Thu Mar 14, 2013, 4:18 PM
Lady Merreth Contest Banner By Syoshiko-d5oznz5 by LadyMerrethsAuthor

Here is the First Prize Entry from the contest:




MashyTaytew did a great job.  Make sure you visit her page and show her some love!



Lady Merreth's First Contest Winners

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 4, 2013, 5:51 PM
Lady Merreth Contest Banner By Syoshiko-d5oznz5 by LadyMerrethsAuthor

*** Winners ***


Lady Merreth's Author and SYoshiko are pleased to announce the contest winners:


First Prize:

MashyTaytew

:iconmashytaytew:

"Puppy Dog Tails"

Puppy Dog Tails by MashyTaytew


Second Prize:


Aliciane


:iconaliciane:

"Puppy Dog Tails"



Third Prize:


gravity9000


:icongravity9000:

"Best Served Cold"


Fourth Prize:


mylochka


:iconmylochka:

"Best Served Cold"


First Runner Up:


Komixefantasy


:iconchristianragazzoni:

"Best Served Cold"

Lady Merreth protects the children by ChristianRagazzoni


All Contest Entrants

Thank you, all!

:iconwarriorneedsfood:, :iconmordredoforkney:, :iconmajdarts:, :iconippotamus:, :iconmylochka:, :iconsusomi:, :iconslefor:, :iconchristianragazzoni:, :iconibizkut:, :iconaliciane:, :iconnaturallylecherous:, :icontriple--eight:, :iconscintillant-h:, :iconslugette:, :iconleilansdream:, :icongravity9000:, :iconmashytaytew:

Contest Submissions can be seen in my Lady Merreth Contest I Gallery


Prizes


Note: in the prize listings, anything to the left of the first plus sign (+) is provided by LadyMerrethsAuthor. Anything to the right of the first plus sign (+) is donated by the indicated artists.

Because there are 17 entrants, the maximum prizes will be awarded:

All contest entrants will be featured in SYoshiko's journal for a day.  The features will show the entrant's contest submission plus one other of their pieces.

All contest entrants will receive a llama badge from SYoshiko if they have not already received one.

In all cases, the 1st prize entry will be the Featured Deviation on LadyMerrethsAuthor DA page for two weeks starting Wednesday, March 6th.

All Contest Entries will be placed into a Contest Gallery on the LadyMerrethsAuthor page at the contest’s conclusion with links back to the artists.

The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winning entries will be placed on:

Links to back to the artist’s DA page will be provided in each case. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winning entries will be tweeted to my followers (@BrantForseng on Twitter).

In order to receive cash prizes you must have a Paypal account, otherwise prizes will be paid in DA points.

Examples of image quality for SYoshiko’s 1st prize contributions can be found here:

Leanne: First Time Contest: My first knife by SYoshiko and Mermaid Vampire by SYoshiko and Lady Simma: Ready for the Ball by LadyMerrethsAuthor.


LadyMerrethsAuthor will contact prize winners to arrange prize distribution.




Contest!

Journal Entry: Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:15 AM
Lady Merreth Contest Banner By Syoshiko-d5oznz5 by LadyMerrethsAuthor

February 28th


Lady Merreth's First Contest is now closed to submissions. 


Judging is in progress. 


Winners will be announced here no later than midnight, PST, Monday March 4th.





*** UPDATE February 26 ***

SYoshiko has generously added to the prizes as follows:

All contest entrants will be featured in SYoshiko's journal for a day.  The features will show the entrant's contest submission plus one other of their pieces.

All contest entrants will receive a llama badge from SYoshiko if they have not already received one.

*** UPDATE January 12 ***

Jessica-Lorraine-Z has generously added to the prizes. Please see below for details.


*** UPDATE January 01 ***

XullraeZauviir has generously added to the prizes. Please see below for details.


*** UPDATE December 30 ***

Uniquely-Designed has generously added to the prizes. Please see below for details.


Many thanks to:

:iconsyoshiko:, :iconmdnghtdsgndstck:, :iconxullraezauviir:, and :iconreilune:


for their contributions to the prize pool. Please visit their pages. They're awesome people.



Contest Entrants


:iconwarriorneedsfood:, :iconmordredoforkney:, :iconmajdarts:, :iconippotamus:, :iconmylochka:, :iconsusomi:, :iconslefor:, :iconchristianragazzoni:, :iconibizkut:, :iconaliciane:, :iconnaturallylecherous:, :icontriple--eight:, :iconscintillant-h:, :iconslugette:, :iconleilansdream:, :icongravity9000:, :iconmashytaytew:

Contest Submissions can be seen in my Lady Merreth Contest I Gallery


Showcase Video for Contest Entrants

Updated February 10th to incude new entrants and submissions!






Contest Themes


Select from the themes below for your entry. I strongly recommend you read the Lady Merreth Character Bio and at least one of the sneak peak chapters/stories before commencing work. Please also read the Lady Merreth Permissions.

Theme – Puppy dog tails

Lady Merreth has been portrayed as confident, capable, and self-assured (most of the time). She knows how to handle herself … except when it comes to children. Small boys are drawn to her and find her absolutely fascinating. Merreth, on the other hand, feels awkward and clumsy around them. She doesn’t dislike children; she's just doesn’t know how to talk to them.

Depict Merreth as she tries to politely but awkwardly dissuade a young commoner boy from following her around.

Theme – No one sees me like this -- ever

From the illustrations, Merreth's character profile, and any of the posted Merreth stories you might care to read, depict Merreth in a moment of emotion that seems rare, one that she would try to hide from everyone else (be sure that your image explains why Merreth is experiencing this rare emotion and/or letting it show).

Theme - Best Served Cold

Anything you like as long as the depiction embodies the theme and is true to Merreth's appearance and character.

Prizes


Note: in the prize listings, anything to the left of the first plus sign (+) is provided by LadyMerrethsAuthor. Anything to the right of the first plus sign (+) is donated by the indicated artists.

Prizes are awarded on a sliding scale depending upon the number of entrants:

10 or more entrants

7 to 9 entrants

4 to 6 entrants

Less than 4 entrants

Notes:

You can enter the contest as often as you like, but you can only win once.

In all cases, the 1st prize entry will be the Featured Deviation on LadyMerrethsAuthor DA page for two weeks starting Monday, March 4th.

All Contest Entries will be placed into a Contest Gallery on the LadyMerrethsAuthor page at the contest’s conclusion with links back to the artists.

The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winning entries will be placed on:
Links to back to the artist’s DA page will be provided in each case. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winning entries will be tweeted to my followers (@BrantForseng on Twitter).

In order to receive cash prizes you must have a Paypal account, otherwise prizes will be paid in DA points.

Examples of image quality for SYoshiko’s 1st prize contributions can be found here: Leanne: First Time Contest: My first knife by SYoshiko and Mermaid Vampire by SYoshiko and Lady Simma: Ready for the Ball by LadyMerrethsAuthor.

Medium


Entries can be:
  • Colour or black & white
  • 2D or 3D digital
  • Traditional Art
  • Photo manipulation
Important – if you enter a photo manipulation you are responsible for ensuring that you have conformed with the stock-owner’s terms of use; you must provide a link to their terms of use for verification.

References


See the References Folder in Galleries on the LadyMerrethsAuthor DA page. Within it are:
  • Photos of the model used as Lady Merreth’s reference (all purchased from iStockPhoto) -- Note that Merreth has brown eyes, not blue as shown in the model photos.
  • Selected art by SYoshiko that best "captures" Merreth’s appearance and character
  • Lady Merreth’s Character Biography
  • Any other information deemed relevant
Note that stories and chapters are kept in their own gallery folder, not in the References folder.

*** Very Important *** Lady Merreth has an 'iconic' look. This look includes her outfit: hat, vest, gloves, breeches, boots and whip. Please be true to that look.

Entering Your Submission


Lady Merreth does not yet have a group. To enter your art in the contest, post a comment under this Journal Entry. Place the following pieces of information in the comment:
  • The words “Contest Entry”
  • The theme chosen
  • The medium used
  • A link to your gallery where you have placed the image; be sure to provide a link back to this contest page
  • If you are entering a photo manipulation, a link back the stock provider's terms of use

Time Frame

  • Contest runs from Tuesday, January 1st through to February 28th, inclusive
  • Winners will be announced on the DA LadyMerrethsAuthor site on Monday, March 4th
  • Prizes will be awarded no later than Wednesday, March 6th
  • Delivery date for prizes created by SYoshiko to be determined by SYoshiko and the prize winner

Judging and Judges


Entries will be judged based on creativity, consistency (staying true to Merreth's character and appearance), accurate representation, level of detail and composition.

LadyMerrethsAuthor and SYoshiko will be the judges.

New Story

Journal Entry: Fri Dec 28, 2012, 8:01 PM
I've published a new chapter of the Univeristy Tales in the Stories and Chapters folder.

It's called Tuition and continues the story of Merreth becoming further mired in politics.

Oh, and I am trying out this new journal skin thingy.  :)

I've got all but one of the contest themes picked out, the rules, the prizes, everything else needed to run this thing, so looks like I am on track to launch the contest on January 1.

Just got to come up with the final theme (there will be three from which to choose) and it's good to go.

It will be interesting to see what kind of response Lady Merreth generates.
In my brief time on DA I have noticed that there are a fair number of contests run from time to time.  People seem to enjoy them, and I think Lady Merreth now has sufficiently large exposure to make a contest worthwhile.

Sooo...I've posted a permission page on drawing Lady Merreth.  Mina graciously allowed me to copy and edit the one she uses for Dramira, which saved me a lot of time.  With that out of the way, I am mulling over the nature of the contest itself.   After running my thoughts past SYoshiko (who acts a sanity-check on some of my more off-beat ideas) I will post the particulars on the page.

I chose January because my first idea -- Christmas -- seems innundated with all manner of enticing contests.  

I'm also toying around with a newvideo and trying to write another chapter of Western Watch.