It’s just me, I’m still here…

January 28, 2013

Okay, luckily, I didn’t run out of time or post something else before I remembered the Re-introduce myself blogfest.

So, let’s see… I’m not going to worry about finding something to tell you that you don’t know if you’ve been following the blog closely. That could drive me crazy.

  • I love to write science fiction and fantasy.
  • I’m a big fan of National Novel Writing Month, and in 2012 I stepped up as a Hamilton ML (local group leader for NaNoWriMo) for the first time.
  • I’m applying to four great summer workshops in the US for 2013.
  • I’ve almost finished the Holly Lisle ‘How to Revise your Novel’ course
  • I collect all kinds of electronic gadgets and gizmos.
  • I’ve written fanfic, made fanart and fanvids in the past, but haven’t made much time for any of that fandom stuff lately.
  • I love to go to science-fiction conventions.
  • I geek out about really obscure math stuff.

And my name is Chris Kelworth. It’s so nice to meet you again!

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Roswell

April 21, 2011

R is for…

Long-time readers of this blog will have probably heard me mention the television show ‘Roswell’, especially in connection with the fanfic and fanart I’ve created based on the show. It’s a bit of an interesting story how I got so involved in Roswell fandom. It’s not really one of the best shows that have been on television, but I think that possibly its flaws are just big enough to give fans room to slip through and play on their own.

I tuned into the show in the fall of 1999, after it had been on the air for a few months – mostly because I wanted to see what Julie Benz was up to since leaving Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ironically, the first episode I saw was the end of Julie’s recurring arc on the show – she returned for one more episode later in the season, and I caught most of her other episodes in reruns, but that was all for Julie.

But I started following the show – the teenage leads had some charisma working for them, the writing was witty and engaging, (Jason Katims knows his stuff, and so does most of the writing team he put together,) and most of the plot holes that crept up were easy to gloss over.

Around this same time I was participating in a crazy crossover RPG on egroups, and later yahoo groups – Roswell wasn’t part of the canon for the RPG, just Buffy, Angel, Charmed, and the movie ‘Sleepy Hollow.’ It was a lot of fun, and the moderator of the game was also a big fan of Roswell. She ended up pointing me to a few fan sites, and gave me my first taste of Roswell shipper controversy.

To explain this part fairly briefly, over most of the first season of the show, there were roughly parallel romantic arcs between three couples in the show’s teenage cast – Max Evans with Liz Parker, Michael Guerin with Maria DeLuca, Isabel Evans with Alex Whitman. Each of these pairs was one alien character, (Max, Michael, Isabel) and one human, (Liz, Maria, Alex.) There was also another teenage regular human, Kyle Valenti, Liz’s ex-boyfriend, but he was more of a foil for Max than anything else at this point.

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Fanart flashback #12: Coming full circle.

February 8, 2011

Fanart flashbacks index

Well, the day has come – I’m ending the fanart flashback tuesdays series here, and sharing two of the earliest fan wallpapers I ever made. These were from back in the fall of 2003, which was probably before I’d even heard of fanfic banners – though I’m not sure, because I was at Fanatics by then. Maybe I’d seen some but never really paid attention.

This first one is a fairly simple wallpaper for Smallville – almost a generic cover banner for the entire show, rather than trying to encapsulate a more specific message:

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Fanart flashbacks #11: The art of arranging

February 1, 2011

Fanart flashbacks index

I know I mentioned two weeks ago that in my next Fanart flashback, I’d be wrapping the series up with some of my earliest wallpapers, but then I decided to extend it one week, and wrap up with #12. This time, I’ll share a bunch of fanfiction banners, and talk about the different ways of actually arranging different video capture elements onto the banner canvas, since I kind of glossed over that before, and I was thinking about it as I struggled over my latest banner last weekend.

There’s no one pattern of arrangement that will work for every banner; it depends on what size and shape banner you want to end up with, (which depends on where you want to show it,) and what you want to include from the video captures.

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Fanart 10: Lots of small wallpapers.

January 18, 2011

Fanart series index.

Well, I think I’m going to be wrapping up this fan art series soon, though I might still share some from time to time. This week, though, I’ve got a lot of recent examples of what I call ‘wallpaper’ fanart as opposed to story banners or signature banners – fanart that’s just supposed to be pretty and possibly illustrate a moment or theme from the fandom show. I did quite a bit of that in 2010, though I’ll probably be moving back to more story banners this year.

So I’ve got six little wallpapers to show, each from a different favorite TV show. First, from Roswell, a Michael/Maria shipper banner, drawing from two early season one episodes when those characters were just starting to relate to each other:

In this case, as is usual for my wallpaper, I thought of the theme and the copy first, and then went looking for vidcaps that would suit it – from two different sequences involving Michael, Maria, and a motel room.

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Fanart 9: Two Firefly Banners

January 11, 2011

Fanart series index.

I want to talk a little bit more about the ‘concept’ of fanart, since I realize that some of my readers may not have been exposed to it that much. To me, the point of fanart is using images from a television or movie to create a new picture, some kind of original vision, and convey that thought to other people who are already familiar with your fandom.

There are lots of different kinds of fanart, and I’ve only tried a few. Some people do original paintings or sketches, and some can do very elaborate manipulations using programs like photoshop and superimposing images that originally didn’t have anything to do with each other into a coherent image. I’m hoping to help with a manipulation fanart sometime soon, but I’ve been finding that even my part, finding the right pieces to put together, is much harder than I expected. Mostly, as I’ve explained, I just work with fairly simple techniques – DVD captures or promotional images, simple cut and paste graphic software, and so on.

And fanart can have lots of different messages that it’s trying to convey. There are some that are very simply calling back to a moment from the original canon, like my Simon/Kaylee wallpaper, or a few that I’ll be sharing later in the series. Some are meant to raise awareness for a particular site or event within the fandom community, a bit like virtual advertising flyers, like the signature banners from two weeks ago.

And then, there are fanfic cover banners, which are a bit like movie posters for somebody’s original fanfiction story. These are possibly my favorite, since I’ve been a very prolific fanfic author in my day, and it’s a great feeling to be able to show somebody a picture that kind of sums up thousands of the words that you’ve put down.

So, without further rambling, here’s a few banners that I made in the early summer of 2010 for two of my Firefly stories. First, “Passing through the storm:”

There’s a lot that this banner conveys to a firefly fan. First, it shows the ensemble of main characters in the story, and how they mainly relate to each other – River off by herself, Kaylee with Simon, Jayne with Zoe, Mal with Inara. To many fans, that roster will also suggest the timeframe of the story, particularly because the missing characters match with some who are no longer around after the movie ‘Serenity’. Also, most or all of the pictures are taken from the movie, not from the TV episodes.

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Fanart 8: Two Ensemble/focus banners from December 2009

January 4, 2011

Fanart series index.

I did a few different story banners in December of 2009, and the first one was for another ‘concept crossover,’ Roswell Calling. This time, I took the concept of the Eliza Dushku tv series “Tru Calling”, and wished it upon a minor character from the Roswell tv series, Deputy turned Sheriff Hanson, so that he could use it to save Alex’s life. I also ended up coming with a different back-story behind Alex’s accident, since saving him from Tess on the last day of his life was something that I’d covered years before in a previous story, “Tapping Fingers.”

I actually asked if somebody at Fanatics could make a banner for this story, and wasn’t really impressed with the sample I could, but couldn’t put my finger on why. So I didn’t reply back, and left the story without a banner until I started messing around with a concept of my own, which ended up looking like this:

I’m really pleased with the way that came out, especially the shots of Alex and Hanson in the middle, and the really tiny shots running across the top and bottom of the banner.

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Fanart 7: Signature banners for Support Stacie Auction

December 28, 2010

Fanart series index.

This next batch of fanart was something a little different. It started because I was involved in the ‘Support Stacie’ fandom auctions. They were an effort to raise funds for a lady who’d been very active in several fandom communities, including Roswell Fanatics, who was going through cancer treatments and struggling to pay the medical bills. The basic idea was, fanfiction authors would put themselves up on the auction block, along with general guidelines for what kinds of story they’d be willing to write – whoever placed the high bid got the opportunity to place a specific challenge or otherwise suggest elements for the story, and they’d get to choose if the finished story was posted online or for their personal pleasure. And technically, all the stories were ‘donor thank-you gifts’, I guess because there were awkward legal issues to writing fan fiction in exchange for money. 🙂

So, anyway, the people running the auction put out a call for anybody to come up with small message board signature banners that could be used to promote the auction, and I ended up making a series based on moments in the run of Roswell where the characters talked about stories:

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Fanart 6: AU/Crossover banner for ‘The Wizards of Roswell.’

December 22, 2010

Fanart series index.

Moving forward again into August 2009, I wanted to spotlight a little banner I made for an unusual AU/Crossover fanfic.

Sidetrack: I often find I enjoy playing around with the raggedy edge of crossovers rather than the traditional ‘A meet B’ formula, especially taking a concept from fandom B and transplanting it to fandom A, or re-imagining the characters from fandom A entirely within fandom B. ‘Wizards of Roswell’ was an example of the latter; I took the rules and setup from Diane Duane’s excellent “Young wizards/Feline wizards” series, but not any of the familiar characters like Nita Callahan or Kit Rodriguez. Instead, Max and Isabel Evans and their friend Michael Guerin were teenage wizards in Roswell, and Max saved Liz Parker’s life with magic after she got shot. And then I introduce the vampires.

Getting back to the banner, the pictures are fairly simple. I went with screencaps from the Roswell series pilot, since the fanfic covers some of the same material and would probably fit into more or less the same time period, allowing for the differences between universes. One shot of Michael and Max reacting to the shooting seemed too good to pass up, and I included Liz in the science lab, and a more or less random shot of Katherine Heigl as Isabel, because she’s also an important character. Maria and Alex didn’t make the cut this time.

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Fanart 5: Max/Liz banners for ‘Not Written Yet’ and ‘Las Cruces Rendezvous…’

December 14, 2010

Fanart series index.

I thought I’d spotlight two different fanfiction banners for this week – I did them both during July of 2009, and they’re both centering on ‘Dreamer’ pairing stories. First, ‘Not Written Yet’, which I wrote and finished many years ago, in the winter and spring of 2005, an alternate version of the episode ‘End of the world.’

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