creativity project – alternate bookcover 07/02/2018

a cat may look (1)

Kitties!

This is an alternate cover forA Cat May Look, the story of Tim.  Tim is a Shifter, a were-person – and he tends to keep quiet about it. Mostly because he isn’t a werewolf, or a were-jaguar, or anything cool. No, he’s a were-domestic cat. Nothing wrong with that, right? But not exactly glamorous, just the same. So when he gets a huge crush on his next-door-neighbour, he doesn’t exactly spread the news around. Which makes it a little difficult when a witch puts a spell on him that has him stuck in his were-form, as Tibbles…

This cover uses the Canva element I’m currently infatuated with – plus a Creative Commons image from Trevor Leyenhorst, https://www.flickr.com/photos/10213764@N02/ under licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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A Cat May Look – Fluffy Gay Romance!

A Cat May Look by Alex Ankarr174877064_dccf7d721d_o

Tim is a Shifter, a were-person – and he tends to keep quiet about it. Mostly because he isn’t a werewolf, or a were-jaguar, or anything cool. No, he’s a were-domestic cat. Nothing wrong with that, right? But not exactly glamorous, just the same. So when he gets a huge crush on his next-door-neighbour, he doesn’t exactly spread the news around. Which makes it a little difficult when a witch puts a spell on him that has him stuck in his were-form, as Tibbles…

 

Image – Joe Crawford https://www.flickr.com/photos/artlung/ on Flickr, Creative Commons licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

Me and Pam, Week 5

Fifth chapter of ‘Art and Soul, Reloaded’, and my efforts at the tasks set by Ms Grout.  Wow.  Seems like this is really a thing, at this point.

This week’s chapter is called – oh, fortuitously – Dare To Be Mediocre.  And the essay part, the bit of inspiration from Ms Grout before the actual tasks, is about how if you let go of an anxious worry about producing perfect results, then you’re free to fly, to take action.

Oh, my.  Has she seen my wolfy drawings?  It’s like this chapter was written just for me!

Moving on – right along!  The main task for this week’s chapter is, I quote, ‘Come up with the title (just the title) of your forthcoming memoir’.

Ehhh.  I do love a memoir.  By almost anyone.  Don’t matter if you’re a filing clerk with a couple of pugs and your most exciting hobby is joining the local Gilbert & Sullivan society.  Still love ’em.

Ehhh, so, – ‘Under The Bus’, I think.  Yeah.  Yeah.  We’ll go with that.

I guess now is the time for that promised simply appalling wolf drawin’, right?  Seein’ as how it fits with this week’s subject, and all.  Boy, it’s difficult to pick the least worst, though.  They’re all pretty bad.

wolf 3 - Copy

Hey!  As a thumbprint it doesn’t look too bad!  I’ll have you know.

What I’ve been reading – Crazy Vanilla by Barbara Wersba

Crazy VanillaCrazy Vanilla by Barbara Wersba

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I expected a little more from this than I actually got – it felt as if at any moment a profound epiphany might appear, but that promise was never quite made good. Still, I did enjoy it. The best thing was reading about Tyler’s love of nature and animals, which felt deeply real. His opinions and reading about the anthropomorphization of animals in human culture was especially interesting – more so than his personal relationships, really. I found his issues with his older brother’s sexuality a bit tacked-on and not really credible. Still a worthwhile read though.

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The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 6

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The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 6

Markov pursed his lips and nodded slightly.  But it was more as if he felt Adam seemed to need the acknowledgement, and he politely offered it, rather than actually being interested. Then he bent to pick up his shopping bags, nodded again and said, “Well, must be getting along. I’ve got some frozen berries in there as well as lamb chops, the heat won’t be doing ’em any good.” And he pulled a key out of his pocket, and turned towards his own apartment door.

What the hell? “What?” Adam asked incredulously. Well, it was a bit of a yelp, actually. “You’re just going to leave me here…stranded?” Maybe he sounded a bit pathetic. But he was practically stranded on a desert island, with nothing but a palm tree and a couple of coconuts to keep him company, here.  Figuratively.

Markov’s shoulders sagged, a little. And he stood a moment, with his key in the lock, and his shopping bags hanging off his arm. “I could call the supervisor for you?” he offered, without even the courtesy of turning around.

“And leave me out here? I’ll freeze! Even if you’re new, you should have realised it takes him hours to respond to a call by now!” Adam whined. It wasn’t that warm anymore, and the chilly breeze was giving him goosebumps. He hardly knew where to put his hands to keep himself decent, and try to keep warm too.

“I’ll fetch you a blanket while you wait?” Markov offered hopefully, turning his head a bit at least. He had to know that Adam was angling for an invite into his apartment while he waited. It would at least be one interesting upside to this whole trauma.

Adam pouted, and Markov caved. Not as far as issuing an invite, but…

Well, a minute and thirty seconds later, Adam was wondering if what he ought to be worrying about was living opposite someone with such impressive lock-picking skills. “I thought you were an entomologist,” he asked, slightly accusing, as Markov pushed open Adam’s front door and gestured to him.  (Much as if to say, ‘Voilà, all yours!’) “Not a locksmith.” (‘Locksmith’ seemed more polite than ‘potential burglar’.) “Where did you get your ‘breaking and entering’ chops?”

 

 

© Alex Ankarr 2017, all rights reserved.  Including the stellar artwork, don’t go stealing my spidey, peoples.

YAY!  6th installment of my bug-hunter/bug-phobic gay romance, here it is!

The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 5

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The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 5

Something about it unfroze Adam’s vocal cords, at least. “I was in the shower,” he blurted out, explaining the inexplicable.

Milo nodded, the way you might nod to any naked lunatic. And Adam continued, annoyed – because who liked being humoured? “There was a spider in there,” he said. “I only noticed it once I was already in there, up in the corner out of the way of the showerhead.”

It didn’t get the big reaction he’d been aiming for. Markov just looked at him a moment longer, like there had to be more explanation coming that that. For nudity, and being still bedewed with shower-raindrops, and suchlike.

“It was a really big one,” Adam added. He was getting annoyed, now.

 

© Alex Ankarr 2017, all rights reserved.  Including the stellar artwork, don’t go stealing my spidey, peoples.

YAY!  5th installment of my bug-hunter/bug-phobic gay romance, here it is!

The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 4

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The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 4

 

Adam couldn’t speak, himself. He’d have choked on a word. It was impossible to come up with even a fumbled, ‘um, hi’. What was he going to do, affect nonchalance, act like he just walked around the building in the buff all the time?

After the awkwardest brief pause in the world, though, Markov saved him. He stood a little straighter – making the most of his diminutive height.  And he looked Adam right in the eye – because anywhere else would have been awkward.  “’Evening, there, neighbour,” was how he opened the conversation.  He folded his arms, and there might have been a twitch of amusement round the pretty curl of his lips. “Interesting weather we’ve been having, right? Warm,” he emphasized.

His gaze traveled and lingered over Adam’s shoulder, arm, hip – suggesting, wordlessly, that a spot of naturism was a perfectly reasonable response to the heat. Or that maybe Adam thought so, at least.

 

 

 

 

© Alex Ankarr 2017, all rights reserved.  Including the stellar artwork, don’t go stealing my spidey, peoples.

 

YAY!  4th installment of my bug-hunter/bug-phobic gay romance, here it is!

The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 3

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The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 3

They’d nodded at each other in the mornings and evenings and in the utility room in the basement, the rare occasions Adam had spotted the smooth handsome newcomer, so far. He’d been biding his time. Waiting for the perfect moment.

And here it was, their meet-cute. It wasn’t remotely how Adam had imagined it, though. Not sans his slickest new duds, sans towel, sans a shred or scrap of clothing to cover him. Damp and flushed and sweaty, in fact, gasping for breath with the slam of the door still echoing through the hallway. And with his hand over his masculine parts, no sang-froid whatsoever.  (Like a kid whose swimming trunks had come off when he surged up out of the pool, and gave the hotel swimmers and sunbathers a laugh. He half-expected a catcall, a whistle, a round of mocking applause.)

 

 

 

© Alex Ankarr 2017, all rights reserved.  Including the stellar artwork, don’t go stealing my spidey, peoples.

 

YAY!  3rd installment of my bug-hunter/bug-phobic gay romance, here it is!

The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 2

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The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 2

Not alone, no.  Definite company present.  In the shape of Milo, his neighbour from across the hall – standing with his key out and a couple of shopping bags leaning up by his door, now turned around and staring at Adam.  Presumably wondering what the hell was going on, and why his new neighbour had just run screaming out into the hallway, slamming his own front door behind him.  (Stark naked.  Screaming, and naked.)

Milo Markov, the scientist from across the way.  Entomologist, to be precise.  Adam knew, because although they’d barely exchanged a ‘good morning’ so far, he always took care to know the bio of the cutest new residents in the building.  Wouldn’t anyone?

 

 

© Alex Ankarr 2017, all rights reserved.  Including the stellar artwork, don’t go stealing my spidey, peoples.

 

YAY!  2nd installment of my bug-hunter/bug-phobic gay romance, here it is!

What I’ve been reading – The Little Grey Men by B.B.

The Little Grey MenThe Little Grey Men by B.B.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very gentle, sedate fantasy adventure, with just a few moments of high excitement. I give it four stars for the quality of the writing, although I usually like fantasy novels with more of the fantasy equivalent of car chases, explosions and alien invasions. The characterization is good enough that one does suffer along with the gnomes, lots of angst hoping for their safe journey and eventual reunion. If you invest the effort into really getting into the book then I think it pays off, although it might take a bit of doing.

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